Asian stocks continued their New Year surge today following a stronger tailwind from the US yesterday, including a +1.5% leap from the Nasdaq. To wit, the Chinese CSI 300 climbed +1.2% while the FTSE Straits Times Index was up +0.46%. The Taiex was up almost +0.90%. There was a share price bump for LG Electronics in South Korea after rumours LG will supply OLED screens for Apple. South Korea’s Lotte Corp also surged +5% on news it would merge units, plus Hyundai Heavy Industries saw a +10% gain on better sales.
Down under, Australian metal producers are looking positive as commodity prices have firmed: the ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index climbed +2% higher today. In the background oil has hit a $67-plus intraday high as Iranian concerns mount. However there is still abundant shale oil pressure generally: despite severe US winter weather and increased US natural gas demand, US gas prices remain steady thanks to the influence of increasingly-dominant shale.
This morning we have a rash of corporate earnings including Next. UK Construction PMI numbers come through at 9.30am following new German consumer price index and unemployment data. Sterling was steady overnight at 1.3595 while the euro was -0.12% against the pound at 0.8857.
- UK FTSE 100 7,648.10 -0.52%
- DAX 12,871.39 -0.36%
- CAC 40 5,288.60 -0.45%
- Dow 24,824.01 +0.42%
- S&P 500 2,695.81 +0.83%
- Nasdaq 7,006.90 +1.50%
- Nikkei 225 22,764.94 -0.08%
- Gold 1,316.10 0.00%
- Oil WTI 60.39 +0.03%
Cold weather warms up Next sales
Next has reported a +1.5% climb on pre-Xmas November-December sales. Although bricks-and-mortar sales were -6.1% down online sales surged +13.6%. Consequently Next is boosting its profit guidance by £8m to £725m.
Subdued consumer demand driven by a decline in real incomes for many plus cost inflation woes remain big challenges for 2018 Next warns, whose share price is now +30% up on a year ago at 607.50p (though only +10% up over three years).
“However, we believe," it said in a release at 7am, "that some of these headwinds will ease as we move through the year; we already know that cost price inflation will reduce to 2% in the first half and believe it will disappear in the second half.”