Monthly Archives: June 2014

US stocks and bonds enjoy strong gains

Investors can be forgiven for thinking they have the midas touch at the halfway stage of the year. Solid returns across many asset classes beg the question for the second half: how much longer can equity, commodity and bond prices keep rising in unison? Holders of long-term bonds are sitting on double digit gains, commodities are up some 7.1 per…

US homebuilders buoyed by sales lift

DR Horton, one of the largest US homebuilding companies, was boosted by the third in a series of encouraging reports on the US housing market. Shares in the builder rose about 3 per cent to $24.58, adding to a recovery in the market valuation to previous highs as it overcomes investor concerns of industry weakness that emerged this year. DR…

Optiver targets US but rules out purchase

Optiver, one of the world’s largest electronic market makers, has ruled out making a large US purchase even as the Dutch group targets the market in an effort to emulate a buoyant 2013 trading performance. Paul Hilgers, group chief executive, said on Monday the group was targeting growth opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and the US, two areas it has…

Soyabeans tumble on record US planting

Extremely low stocks and high prices for soyabeans have prompted US farmers to sow what could be their biggest crop ever, tipping markets into rapid reverse on Monday. The US Department of Agriculture said domestic acres planted with the oilseed totalled a record high 84.8m acres this spring, up 11 per cent from last year and well above previous estimates….

EasyJet slides on Merrill ‘sell’ advice

Investors have been fickle towards EasyJet. The airline hit a record high in April, having been the FTSE 100’s best performer since the start of 2013, and has been its worst performer since. Sell advice from Merrill Lynch was responsible for Monday’s drop, which sent EasyJet to a seven-month low. The broker reckoned industry overcapacity is worsening and management has…

Euro jump wipes out post-ECB retreat

©Reuters The euro hit a six-week high against the dollar, wiping out falls since the European Central Bank’s June policy meeting when Mario Draghi unveiled a range of anti-deflation measures meant to weaken the currency. The euro’s strength reflected worries about the pace of US economic growth, which have weakened the dollar, as well as an apparent fall in the…

Argentina lashes out at US over debt

Argentina called a US court decision to block payments on its restructured debt a violation of international law and an infringement of its sovereign rights as it teetered on the brink of technical default for the second time in less than 15 years. Payments on the South American nation’s bonds were due Monday, but a New York federal court has…

Rupiah stages rally ahead of elections

©AP Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo The rupiah gained strongly yesterday, extending a rally that began on Friday as volatility hit Indonesia’s markets in the face of growing uncertainty about the outcome of next week’s presidential elections. Having gained 0.9 per cent on Friday, the rupiah – which was one of the least loved emerging market currencies during the first…

Long-dated US debt emerges as 2014 winner

Long-dated US sovereign bonds have emerged as one of this year’s strongest performing assets, eclipsing gains in the benchmark S&P 500 stock index and commodities including oil and gold. The returns on long-dated Treasuries, which are on course to record a total return of 13 per cent for the first half of 2014, have confounded expectations at the start of…

Tax windfall boosts Shire shares

Shares in Shire were at the top of a steady FTSE 100 on Monday after the drugmaker pledged to use receipts of a substantial tax rebate to pay down debt. The London-listed, Dublin-based drugmaker, at the centre of a $27bn, unsolicited bid from US peer AbbVie, received a $248m cash refund from Canadian authorities and said it expected to get…