The positive buying sentiment extended into Friday for the Nikkei, up +1.19%. Trend Micro and Chubu Electric Power were the biggest climbers, up +10.44% and +6.52%. Other Asian markets were shut for the Lunar New Year break; there was some stimulus news emerging out of Japan following the re-nomination of the governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda – a green flag for monetary stimulus for the next five years.
Last night US stocks continued their come-back with the Dow Jones ending +1.23% higher while the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged +1.58%. The dollar continued to slip, down -0.27% against a weighted basket of currencies, to 88.33. The Japanese yen at 105.66 is now touching a 15-month high and has seen a week of straight gains. Many think the euro now is poised to extend past $1.25. The pound is trading +0.2% higher at 1.4131 but -0.06% lower against the euro at 1.127.
- UK FTSE 100 7,234.81 +0.29%
- DAX 12,346.17 +0.06%
- CAC 40 5,222.52 +1.11%
- Euro Stoxx 600 376.51 +0.53%
- Dow 25,200.37 +1.23%
- S&P 500 2,731.20 +1.21%
- Nasdaq 7,256.43 +1.58%
- Nikkei 225 21,720.25 +1.19%
- Gold 1,360.70 +0.40%
- Oil WTI 61.64 +0.49%
Air France boasts +40% profits hike; Renault's Ghosn re-appointed
Earlier Air France-KLM said its operating profits pushed higher to €1.48bn, up more than +40%. In the background though was a €274m net loss following charge pressure on a pilot and cabin crew pension deal. First quarter 2018 unit revenue growth is expected to be positive at constant currency compared to last year said the airline.
“As we enter 2018,” said CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac, “in a context of rising oil prices and even more intense competition, we will pursue the offensive, work on competitiveness and unit cost reduction, and capitalize on the realizations of 2017 in order to maintain a profitable growth momentum.”
Elsewhere Carlos Ghosn, boss of Renault, will extend his stay at the company for another four years though the re-appointment needs to be confirmed by shareholders later in the year.
Danone like-for-like sales up
Evian water maker Danone has reported like-for-like sales growth of +2.5% boosting sales to €24.7bn. However sales growth from its dairy arm – Danone is the maker of Activa yoghurt – was flat.
“We closed the year with an accelerated sales growth rate, outperforming the industry average, along with very strong margin improvement and free cash flow above €2bn,” said Danone in a statement this morning.
Balfour Beatty says it has won a £1.4bn joint venture contract to design, finance and build an Automated People Mover at Los Angeles International Airport.
Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said the contract “recognises our expertise and track record for delivering critical transportation infrastructure”. Balfour shares were up +0.65% yesterday at 272.90p though they are down more than -7% in the last month.