Spanish equities outperform Most major European benchmarks were trading in the red as the US was opening for trading. At 1330 GMT, the Stoxx 600, which gives a broad picture of European equites, was 0.1% down while the blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 traded higher by 0.05%.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont called for a dialogue between the Spanish government and Catalonia in relation to the latter’s bid for independence, adding that “at this moment a de-escalation of tensions is necessary”. In a way he did declare independence, though it could perhaps be said that his declaration was only of “symbolic” nature. His words, at least for the time being, seemed to have eased concerns for on-going tensions and conflict in the region.
Spanish equities were benefitting from the latest twist in developments, with the country’s blue-chip index, the IBEX 35, leading the gains among major counterparts in Europe. The benchmark was last trading 1.2% higher on the day.
The FTSE 100 was 0.1% lower, the DAX 0.05% higher and the CAC 40 down by 0.2%.
The list of top-10 performers within Stoxx 600 Banks, a sub-index of Stoxx 600, was dominated by Spanish banks. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA – up 1.95%), Banco de Sabadell (up 1.2%), Bankia (up 1.1%), Bankinter (up 0.5%) and Banco Santander (up 0.45%) all made the list. The sub-index (Stoxx 600 Banks) itself though was 0.4% lower on the day.
GEA Group (up 6.2%) led gains within the Stoxx 600. The German food-processing machinery firm was on a positive footing after hedge fund Elliott revealed its position in the company. On the other side of the spectrum, Mondi (down 7.3%) was the worst performing stock within the Stoxx 600 (as well as the FTSE 100). The paper and packaging manufacturer said that annual results would be slightly lower than analysts’ expectations.
Next (down 1.9%) was a notable decliner within the FTSE after investment bank Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “underweight” from “equal-weight”, saying that the company’s core business is deteriorating.
With the opening bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up on the margin, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite traded marginally lower. All three recorded intra-day all-time highs during yesterday’s trading with the Dow also posting a closing record high. FOMC meeting minutes relating to the September policy meeting, during which the Federal Reserve signaled that a third interest rate hike later in the year remains on the table, will be released at 1800 GMT.
BlackRock and Delta Air Lines are receiving additional attention after their quarterly earnings came in above analysts’ forecasts. JPMorgan cut its target price for General Electric from $22 to $20.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) will be releasing oil data, including information on crude stocks, for the week ending October 2 at 2030 GMT. Energy stocks are in focus ahead of the report.
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