US stocks opened in red on Thursday at the back of an increasing sign of sluggish global growth prospects, while market participants reacted adversely to some corporate quarterly results. On company specific updates at a global level, Sun Trust Bank Inc and BB&T Corp announced a merger in an all-stock arrangement of equal value of $66 billion, and the combined entity will be the sixth largest private bank in the US in terms of assets and bank deposits. Twitter Inc stock was seen plunging after the firm issued a week outlook for the present quarter.
Coming back to the European market, London's broader equity benchmark index FTSE 100 index has ended the session lower against its Wednesday's closing price. On February 07, 2019, FTSE 100 index closed at GBP 7093.58, down by 79.51 points against previous closing price. Another European equity benchmark STOXX 600 traded lower against its previous closing price and ended the session at 360.08, down by 5.44 points.
On Thursday, Energy stocks traded lower due to a steep plunge in Crude oil prices in the International market. Meanwhile, oil service company, Petrofac's former executive, pleaded guilty in bribery related corrupt payment made to win contracts in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Company's stock plunged 29.3% and closed at GBP 395. The food and drug retailer Ocado Group Plc (OCDO.L) also saw a stock price fall (9.77%) for a consecutive second day after a fire ruined its flagship robotic Andover warehouse, on Tuesday.
Brexit Update: With about 50 days left for Brexit, the British government told tradesman that government could not guarantee that the UK's economy would be covered under most of European Union's global criss-cross of trade agreement straight away post-Brexit – even though House of Commons mandates Theresa May's divorce deal with EU.
On Thursday, the British Prime Minister Theresa May met Claude Juncker, European Union president, and both agreed to reopen Brexit talks to resolve this contentious Brexit immediately.
BoE interest rate: On Thursday, Bank of England kept the base rate unchanged at 0.75% for the fourth straight meeting, as all the nine members voted unanimously to hold the key interest rate unchanged. BoE Chairman Mr Mark Carney said "the fog of Brexit" was creating hurdles in the economy and the growing risk of disorderly Brexit is damaging Britain's economy. In fact, this led to weakening of forecast made for 2019 economic outlook.
Performers and Laggards at LSE
Stocks like Thomas Cook Group Plc (TCG.L) and Smith & Nephew Plc (SN.L) were among the top performers on London Stock Exchange, and were up by 9.9% and 5.7%, respectively. On the other side, stocks like Petrofac Ltd.( PFC.L), TUI AG (TUI.L) and Cranswick Plc (CWK.L) were laggards on the London Stock Exchange and were down by 29.3%, 19.3% and 12.6% respectively.
At LSE, stocks like Lloyd Banking Group Plc (LLOY.L), Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L) and BP Plc (BP.L) were top active volume stocks on Wednesday.
Broader Index – FTSE 100 Index cues
Stocks like Smith & Nephew (SN.L), Compass Group Plc (CPG.L) and Hiscox Ltd (HSX.L) were among the top gainers on the broader equity benchmark FTSE 100 index and were up by 5.7%, 3.6% and 1.77% per cent respectively; and on the laggard side, stocks like TUI AG (TUI.L), Ocado Group Plc (OCDO.L) and WPP Plc (WPP.L) were dragged the broader index into red and were down by 19.3%, 9.7% and 8.3% respectively.
On sector specific front, Consumer non-cyclical and Healthcare were traded in green, and all other sectors on the broader index FTSE 100 index traded in red on Thursday,
At the time of writing,
- Brent Crude was trading 1.7% lower at $61.69 per barrel.
- West Texas Intermediate Crude was trading 2.5% lower at $52.67 per barrel.
- Aluminium ended lower for the third consecutive day, traded 0.77% lower on Thursday.
- Gold was at $1314.75 an ounce.
At the time of writing,
- British Pound against US Dollar (GBP/USD) was up at 1.2955
- Euro against British Pound (EUR/GBP) was lower at 0.8760.
- US Dollar index was trading up against majors at 96.29
Money Market News
At the time of writing
- US 10-year treasury bond was trading lower at 2.65%.
- UK 10-year treasury bond was trading higher at 1.18%
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