Value Partners Asia ex-Japan Equity Fund has delivered a 60.7% return since its inception three years ago. In comparison, the MSCI All Counties Asia (ex-Japan) index has returned just 34% over the same period. The fund, which targets what it calls the best-in-class companies in "growth-like" areas of the market, such as information technology and Read More
- US: Dow: 13200.99 (1.18%), S&P 500 Futures: 1419.36 (1.13%), NASDAQ Futures: 3099.20 (0.98%)
- Europe: CAC: 3450.41 (1.29%), DAX: 7059.33 (1.34%), FTSE: 5700.05 (0.74%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4312.90 (0.80%), China: 2051.92 (0.69%), Hong Kong: 19209.30 (0.33%), India: 5238.40 (0.24%), Japan: 8680.57 (0.01%).
- Metals: Gold: 1705.00 (0.65%), Silver: 32.73 (1.24%), Copper: 3.50 (-0.79%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 95.97 (0.64%), Natural Gas: 2.80 (0.07%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.95 (-1.55%), Soya Bean: 17.39 (-0.98%), Wheat: 8.77 (-2.17%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2586 (-0.12%), GBP/USD: 1.5904 (0.01%), USD/JPY: 78.9000 (0.65%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.657% (0.060)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. markets open largely unchanged: U.S. markets opened higher on Thursday amid upbeat employment reports and a new bond-buying program from the European Central Bank. Jobless claims fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, in the week ending September 01, its lowest level in a month, the Labor Department said today. Economists were expecting claims to fall to 370,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) and the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) were all trading significantly higher.
European markets trading in the green: European markets are up in trade today after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi unveiled plans to buy sovereign bonds in an attempt to save the common currency. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) is trading 1.3 percent higher at 7059.33, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gained 0.7 percent at 5700.05 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) surged 1.3 percent to 3450.41. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.6 percent higher.
Asian markets end higher: Asian markets closed higher on Thursday amid hopes that the European Central Bank will take steps to ease the eurozone debt crisis. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closed largely unchanged at 8680.57 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed up 0.3 percent at 19,209.3, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) gained 0.7 percent to 2,051.9. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index gained 34 points to 4,312.9. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index ended up 0.2 percent.
Company News Update
- Online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle Fire e-reader today.
- American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) will sell up to $2 billion shares of Hong Kong-based AIA Group, the proceeds from which will be used to fund a buyback of up to $5 billion of its stock from the U.S. Treasury Department.
- Truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) said third quarter net income fell to $84 million, or $1.22 per share, from $1.4 billion, or $18.24 per share, a year earlier. Sales declined 6.1 percent to $3.28 billion from $3.49 billion in the year ago quarter. The company also said that it is looking at selling operations and laying-off staff this quarter, in a bid to cut operating costs by $150 million to $175 million.
- Clothing chain The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE:MW) jumped 10 percent after reporting better than expected second-quarter earnings. Total revenue increased 1 percent to $662.3 million, compared to analysts’ expectations of revenue of $662.9 million.
- Commercial real estate company American Realty Capital Trust Inc (NASDAQ:ARCT) agreed to be acquired by Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O) in a deal valued at approximately $12.21 per share, or $2.95 billion.
- Real estate website operator Zillow Inc (NASDAQ:Z) is planning a secondary stock offering of 3.5 million shares, the proceeds from which will be used for general corporate purposes.
- · First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) could be in focus today after European regulators launched an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panels.
- Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) fell percent after it was lowered to “sell” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
- Industrial products maker Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE:IR) was downgraded to “equal-weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
- Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX) gained 9 percent after analysts at Credit Suisse began coverage of the biotechnology firm with an “outperform” rating.
- London-listed platinum miner Lonmin Plc (LON:LMI) gained percent amid reports that the company has signed a peace deal with some of the some unionized workers employed at its Marikana mine in South Africa.
- Mining stocks were among the biggest gainers in London, with Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ) up 2.3 percent and Vedanta Resources plc (LON:VED) climbing 3.2 percent. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LON:ENRC) rose 2.9 percent, while Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) picked up 1.9 percent. Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) added 4.3 percent, as Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (LON:RIO) (ASX:RIO) edged up 2.3 percent. BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP) (ASX:BHP) (LON:BLT) was up 1.5 percent.
- British supermarket chain Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc (LON:MRW) reported first half underlying profit of 445 million pounds ($708 million) that beat the average analysts’ forecast of 434 million pounds. Sales increased 2.3 percent to 8.9 billion pounds. The company also raised its interim dividend by 10 percent to 3.49 pence share.
- German drug maker Merck KGaA (ETR:MRK) (FRA:MRK) rose 2.6 percent after it was granted an exclusive worldwide license to Danish biotechnology company Symphogen’s phase II cancer drug, Sym004.
- U.K. electric retailer, Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) reported a 5 percent rise in first quarter same store sale, with total sales rising at a comparably slower rate of 2 per cent during the quarter.
- British hotel and restaurant group Whitbread plc (LON:WTB) reported a 15 percent rise in total sales during the second quarter while comparable sales advanced 4.2 percent.
- Luxottica Group SpA (ADR) (NYSE:LUX) (BIT:LUX), the owner of the Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses brands, plunged 7 percent as the company’s founder, Leonardo Del Vecchio, sold 18 million common shares at 27 euros a share.
- Japan’s biggest brokerage Nomura Holdings, Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:NMR) (TYO:8604) will make cuts in its equities and investment banking businesses as part of a bid to repair its balance sheet, and aims to derive almost two-thirds of its $1 billion in planned savings from Europe and the U.S.
- Australian sportswear company Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) has received a 694 million Australian dollars ($708.2 million) takeover offer from private equity firm Bain Capital LLC.
- Japanese shipping stock closed significantly lower amid reports that Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating more than 10 shipping companies over possible bid-rigging and price-fixing for auto shipments to the U.S., Europe and other parts of Asia from Japan since 2008. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (TYO:9101) plunged 5.3 percent, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (TYO:9104) slid 2.7 percent.
- Struggling Australian carrier Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) has signed a long-term deal with rival Emirates that will see its hub for European flights shift to Dubai from Singapore.
- Chinese personal computer giant Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) ended 3.9 percent higher after agreeing to buy Brazilian electronics maker, CCE for 300 million Brazilian reais ($147 million) in cash and stock.
- Australia’s Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) soared more than 40 percent after the mineral sands miner received a temporary operating license for its controversial $800 million rare earths refinery in Malaysia.
- Chinese railway stocks, Csr Corp Ltd (HKG:1766) (SHA:601766) and China Railway Construction Corp Limited (HKG:1186) (SHA:601186) closed more than 5 percent higher after state-run media reported that China’s top economic planning body has approved 25 rail projects worth more than 700 billion yuan ($110.3 billion).
Economic Calendar for Thursday, September 06, 2012:
07:30 A.M. ET: Challenger Job Cuts (YoY) (August)
08:15 A.M. ET: ADP Employment Change (August)
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, September 01, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, August 25, 2012)
09:45 A.M. ET: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (Week ending Sunday, Sept 02)
10:00 A.M. ET: ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (August)
10:00 A.M. ET: Quarterly Services Survey (Q2)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, August 31, 2012)
11:00 A.M. ET: EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, August 31, 2012)
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply