Mixed day for markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

Hesitance for markets, mergers for UK energy & surprise profits for Toyota

US stocks hovered near all-time highs on Tuesday
US stocks hovered near all-time highs on Tuesday

U.S. stocks hovered near all-time highs on Tuesday, but moves were muted as the latest round of corporate earnings failed to push major indexes further into record territory and as investors awaited clarity on tax policy coming out of Washington, which could provide the next catalyst for the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose less than a point at 23,548. The S&P 500 index also traded near break-even levels at 2,591.

European stocks ended with losses Tuesday, led lower by earnings-driven drops for A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA. U.K. blue-chip stocks also closed Tuesday, pulling back from a record made in the prior session, as shares in retailers declined following downbeat industry sales figures. Security services firm G4S PLC’s shares was the FTSE 100’s biggest loser in the wake of its lowered guidance.

SSE and Innogy merger

Energy supplier SSE says it has been in talks with the owner of rival Npower with a view to forming a new UK energy company. SSE said that it had been in discussions with Germany's Innogy about merging their UK gas and electricity supply businesses into an independent company. The other members of the "big six" UK suppliers are Scottish Power - which is owned by Spain's Iberdrola - and France's EDF. The merger talks take place against an intensifying debate about how well the big six companies are serving UK customers.

SSE, formerly known as Scottish and Southern Energy, supplies energy to 7.77 million households while Npower serves 4.8 million. Such a merger would bring together two of the UK's "big six" gas and electricity suppliers. A combined SSE-Npower company would have a market share of 22.5%, with Germany's E.On trailing on 12%. SSE shares were 3% higher on news of the talks.

Better than expected profits for Toyota

Japan's Toyota has reversed an earlier forecast of lower annual profits. The revised forecast is partly due to the weaker yen. Toyota is now assuming an exchange rate of 111 yen to the dollar, instead of 105 yen previously. It said it now expected profits for the full year to be 1.95 trillion yen ($17bn), after a previous forecast of 1.83tn yen of annual net income.

Consolidated vehicle sales for the six months to September were 4,389,435, up by 25,898 units compared with the previous year. If the yen falls, foreign earnings buy more of the currency when brought back into Japan, giving a boost to reported profit numbers. Profits from Toyota's overseas sales fluctuate with the level of the yen against major market currencies.




This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Junior 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 Investment 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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