Here’s our roundup of key moves in European shares this morning.
Unfazed by a downgrade from Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) last week, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) was on traders’ radar and closed higher by 5.7 percent to €2.09, as they anticipated that the beaten down phone-maker could benefit from a change in fortunes, after it releases its new high-end phones before Apple’s Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) new gen iPhone.
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In general, Europe continued to float at a four-month high, as global risk appetite went into overdrive, following soothing noises by the ECB and surprisingly good job numbers out of the U.S. “Markets are likely to remain driven by headlines (on the euro zone crisis), waiting for action before distinctly moving in either direction,” said Bill O’Neill, Chief Investment Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
In banking, Danske Bank’s A/S (CPH:DANSKE) (PINK:DNSKY) surprise beat caused its shares to vault 5.2 percent to DKr94.65, taking it to the top of the FTSE Eurofirst 300. The bank’s Q2 pre-tax profits rose to DKr 2.51 billon, from DKr 2.08 billion in the year-ago period. “These are our best results for a half year since the financial crisis hit in 2008”, said Eivind Kolding, Chairman of the Executive Board. “Even though we are still far from reaching our goals and challenges lie ahead, the trend is positive. Net profit is up 20%, net interest income is rising, despite low interest rate levels, and our new organization, implemented June 1st this year, has got off to a good start. We have taken one more step in the right direction.”
In utter and sharp contrast, Standard Chartered fell by over 23 percent and lost $16 billion of market capitalization, after New York’s top bank regulator threatened to cancel its state banking license, saying the British-based lender concealed $250 billion in transactions tied to Iran. “The trust issues surrounding the banking sector just don’t seem to be going away,” said Brenda Kelly, market analyst at CMC Markets.
Danske Bank A/S (CPH:DANSKE) (PINK:DNSKY) was an exception, and stood out from the rest of the European banks, which spent the day in negative, worst-performing territory – the FTSE Eurofirst 300 banking sub-index was in fact, down 2.2 percent to 370.78. Among the key losers was Swedish bank, Swedbank, which lost 1.8 percent to SKr117.20, Nordea Bank plunged 1.7 percent to SKr62.70. In Germany, Commerzbank lost 1.3 percent and closed at €1.25, while Deutsche Bank slid 1.1 percent to €25.15.
The Xetra Dax index rose a whisker of 0.3 percent to 6941.10.
Italian and Spanish stock indexes continued to orbit in green territory, buoyed by hopes of the ECB stepping in to bolster the euro and bond markets. Italy’s FTSE MIB index was up 0.7 percent to 14,446.03. Spain’s Ibex 35 was higher by a percent to 7121.