Posted on August 24, 2017 at 8:54 am GMT
Maja Rakic, XM Investment Research Desk

Most bourses in Europe opened higher, with the exception of Sweden’s OMXS. The HANG SENG resumed its trading 0.53% higher after a day off due to Typhoon Hato, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.14% on the day. By contrast, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.42%.

The Nikkei 225 tumbled, with steelmakers faring the worst on news that there was an agreed cut in prices of steel supplied to component makers in the six-months period starting in October. The share prices of some of the largest steel makers tanked during the day, pushing the Nikkei into red territory after one day of gains recorded yesterday.

In Europe, the STOXX 600 rose 0.21% while the blue-chip STOXX 50 climbed 0.29%. The utilities sector gained the most among the pan-European index members, up 0.52%, while technology underperformed with a 0.14% decline.

Led by the basic materials sector, Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.29% and the German DAX rose 0.05% on strong spike in the utilities sector.

Among individual stocks, Provident Financial recovered after a heavy plunge earlier in the week on disappointing results (down 66% on Tuesday). The share price of the company rose 10.21% in today’s early trading. Sunrise Communications also gained, up 6.04% on strong second quarter results and increased guidance for the full year.

Dixons Carphone was the worst performer among European stocks as its share price tumbled 25.67% following the company’s profit warning announcement. Dixons’ share price has been under pressure during the year as investors fear that cooling consumer discretionary spending in the UK could harm results of the mobile retailer.

US futures point to the S&P and NADAQ Composite opening slightly higher, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average could be under pressure upon the market open.

HP, which houses the hardware business of former Hewlett-Packard, could be of interest in today’s trading due to the release of the company’s results after the bell last night. HP reported a rise in its top-line for the fourth consecutive month, led by a stronger demand for its personal computers.

Investors positioned in the troubled retail sector in the US will be focusing on one of the last companies to report second-quarter results. Specifically, Abercrombie & Fitch is due to release results today with analysts keen to get hold of same-store sales.