London Stocks End Up After Late Session Bounce
FTSE 100 ends up 0.3% at 5723.67, bouncing from the session’s lows. “The reversal is yet another encouraging sign that there is still risk appetite out there if stocks suddenly present another buying opportunity,” a local broker says. Better-than-expected US jobless claims data help sentiment, particularly ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data. Also, there is renewed speculation that China may cut its reserve-requirement ratio this weekend. The UK’s equity markets will be closed on Friday and Monday, but investors will likely focus on Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data, released at 1230 GMT, particularly in light of Thursday’s decent jobless claims
Frankfurt Stocks Close Slightly Lower
DAX closes 0.1% lower at 6775.26, extending this week’s losses after Italian and Spanish bond yields increased and German industrial production data failed to impress investors, sliding 1.3% on the month in February, traders say. “The European sovereign debt crisis checks back in and the euro is under pressure,” notes IG Markets analyst Gregor Kuhn. Daimler ends down 4.1% and Metro finishes 2.2% lower. Friday’s data releases include the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for March, due at 1230 GMT. On Monday, the Chicago Fed Midwest manufacturing index is due at 1230 GMT. On Tuesday, German foreign trade and manufacturing turnover data is due at 0600 GMT. The German stock market will be closed until Tuesday because of the Easter holiday.
Paris Stocks End Slightly Higher
CAC-40 closes up 0.2% at 3319.81 in bargain hunting after the blue-chip index fell heavily on Wednesday, says a Paris-based trader. “French stocks were also lifted by a positive trend on US markets,” he adds. LVMH closes up 1.7% following comments from its CEO on the company’s outlook. Stocks exposed to the economic cycle end higher; ArcelorMittal finishes up 2.1% and Vallourec up 1.8%. EDF drops 2.1% after Italian market regulator Consob says the price it offered to raise its stake in Edison is too low. The French market will be closed Friday for the Easter holiday.
Nordic Stocks Close Slightly Lower
Nordic equity markets close down slightly, ending nearly unchanged amid thin holiday trading as investors wind down before the Easter break. Denmark’s and Norway’s markets are closed, while Sweden’s traded for half of the day and Finland’s for the full day. OMNX40 ends 0.2% lower at 986.12. In individual stocks, Stora Enso ends 1.5% lower after announcing the closure of a mill in Hungary. Alliance Oil, cutting its 2012 production guidance for its upstream operations, ends 9.6% lower. All Nordic markets are closed Friday and Monday for the Easter holiday. When opening again Tuesday, focus will be on the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, released Friday, and on 1Q earnings from U.S. aluminium giant Alcoa.
Athens Stocks End Higher Amid Low Turnover
ASE closes up 0.5% at 707.60 amid low turnover of EUR22.9 million. The index closes in positive territory for the time after eight consecutive negative closes. The banking sub-index finishes up 2.8%. “The banking sector continues its effort to respond, but in substance it’s a mere reflex, following the losses that have been reported in the previous sessions,” a local broker says. The news flow in Greece remains indifferent during the last session before the Easter holiday, and investors await the terms of the recapitalization of the Greek banking system, which are expected next week. OTE closes down 2% and OPAP finishes 2.1% lower. Eurobank rises 3.8% and Alpha gains 5%.
Prague Stocks Close Lower Amid Selloffs
PX ends down 1.1% at 935.1 as investors sell ahead of the Easter holiday amid concerns that more bad news could come from the euro zone over the long weekend, when many markets will be closed. “It’s a continuation of the trend of the last three days, during which the DAX has lost over 5%,” a trader says. Local stocks are moving lower on sentiment and not on fundamentals, he adds. CEZ closes down 1.1%, Erste slides 2.1% and NWR ends 2.7% lower.
StockMarketNews Research Team