Earnings in the Limelight | Calamatta Cuschieri

Britain greenlights a £16 billion expansion of London’s main airport and 3M stocks (the maker of Scotch tape and Post-it notes) are the major drag on top US bourses. We're putting earnings in the limelight, check out our roundup of today's market news.

A New 2016 High

The German DAX briefly touch a new 2016 high, comforted by positive corporate earnings and by economic outperformance in the EU’s largest economy, heralding a good day for European stock markets. At the closing bell however only the London FTSE was in positive territory, with all other European majors in the read after the mood soured following disappointing earnings releases from across the Atlantic.

Stock Falls

3M – the maker of Scotch tape and Post-it notes, was the major drag on top US bourses after it revised full-year revenue and earnings downwards for the second time. Paint and coatings company Sherwin-Williams and appliance maker Whirpool both fell approximately 10% after disappointing earnings and revenues. Apparel firm Under Armour fell 14% after it revised its growth outlook for the next 2 years downwards, but the day’s wooden spoon goes to Austrian semiconductor group AMS which saw an intraday fall of over 20% after a weak outlook for the next quarter. The stock eventually recovered almost half its losses.

Today's Greens

The day’s bright spots include Finnish paper maker UPM and Italian eyewear company Luxottica which reported higher profits and revenues respectively. European mining shares were also in the green, and Procter & Gamble was leading the day in the US with intraday gains of 4% after reporting a better-than-expected profit for the last quarter.

We're looking at Autos

Some sector-specific news – in autos, Fiat Chrysler increased its full-year earnings forecast for 2016 for the second time this year after a return to a profit in the third quarter driven by strong results in North America. General Motors shares fell despite third-quarter results which were better than expected. Investors fear a slowdown in US sales and the strengthening of the US dollar against the Euro will undermine profitability in the future.

US Dollar hits multi-month highs

Indeed, the US dollar has hit multi-month highs against most of its peers. The greenback traded at a near 8-month high against the Euro and a 3-month high against the yen, as investors ramp up their bets for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve come December. The market is now pricing in a 78% probability of rates rising by 25 basis points in December. That’s a few basis points up from Monday. Yields on 10-year US sovereign paper held at recent multi-month highs.

Britain gives the go-ahead to £16-billion expansion of Heathrow Airport

The UK government has formally thrown its weight behind a 16-billion pound expansion of London’s main airport and Europe’s busiest hub. The plan is to build a third runway which will expand the airport’s capacity not only for existing commercial and freight routes but also for long-haul trips to Asia and South America. The deal may have come as a signal that – to use an oft-quoted phrase from Theresa May – “Britain is open for business”, although it’s likely that the Brexit vote may have pressured the UK to step up its game and be more competitive than its European rivals.

The deal, which in any case would not be submitted for final approval before a year at best, would see the completion of such runway in 2025 under a best-case scenario. Opposition to the deal however is strong. An existing coalition of lawmakers, environmental campaigners and residents have already been actively trying to block any expansion mostly on the basis of the air, visual and noise pollution and the displacement of nearby residents.

And while the government has already said it would compensate nearby residents the debate on pollution is still on. The UK has been breaching EU limits for nitrogen dioxide, or NO2 – a pollutant produced from diesel engines which is linked to a range of respiratory illnesses – since 2010 in a number of different regions and cities, and Heathrow is a prime culprit. Opposing groups are quoting different reports and sources in a bid to maximize or minimize the effect of a third runway, and a vociferous debate is expected in the coming months.


This article was issued by Andrew Martinelli, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investments Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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