Tuesday, 13 August 2013

European Stocks Climb as German Confidence Rises

By Inyoung Hwang - Aug 13, 2013 2:09 AM PT
European stocks gained for a fourth day as companies posted better-than-estimated earnings and German investor confidence climbed. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also increased.
EON SE rallied the most in three months after Germany’s biggest utility posted first-half profit that exceeded analysts’ projections. GAM Holding AG, a Swiss asset manager, surged the most in 18 months as earnings more than tripled. K+S AG slipped 2.8 percent after reporting revenue and earnings that trailed behind forecasts.
Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Kurtz, Hong-Kong based head of global equity strategy at Nomura Holdings Inc., talks about global stocks and investment strategy. Kurtz also discusses the outlook for gold, the U.S. dollar and yen. He speaks with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move." (Source: Bloomberg)
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.5 percent to 307.68 at 10:07 a.m. in London, the highest level since May 28. The gauge gained 0.6 percent last week as China’s industrial output rose more than estimated. The index has surged 10 percent in 2013, led by automobile and financial-services companies, as central banks around the world maintained stimulus measures.
“There’s been a bias towards companies meeting or beating expectations,” James Buckley, a London-based fund manager at Baring Asset Management Ltd., which oversees about $50 billion, said by telephone. “That coupled with slightly better macro data coming out of Europe and even a lessening in fears over Chinese data has all contributed to a bit more confidence. It’s all produced a positive environment for European equities.”

Japan Tax

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures increased 0.4 percent today. The MSCI Asia Pacific Indexrallied 0.9 percent after data showed machinery orders in Japan rose 4.9 percent from a year earlier in June, beating the 2.6 percent increase projected by economists. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is mulling a tax cut for companies, Nikkei newspaper reported, citing unidentified government officials.
Investor confidence in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, rose more than forecast in August. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations advanced to 42 from 36.3 in July. Economists had predicted a reading of 39.9, according to the median of 42 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
A report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show U.S. retail sales climbed for a fourth consecutive month in July, increasing 0.3 percent, according to the median economist forecast compiled by Bloomberg.
EON rallied 3.2 percent to 12.62 euros, the biggest gain since May 3. The company reported first-half underlying net income of 1.91 billion euros ($2.54 billion), topping the average analyst estimate of 1.79 billion euros.
Rival RWE AG, the second-largest utility in Germany, increased 2.8 percent to 22 euros.

GAM Gains

GAM Holding jumped 7.8 percent to 16.60 Swiss francs, the largest gain since January 2012. The asset manager that split from Julius Baer Group Ltd. almost four years ago said first-half profit more than tripled after fee and commission income increased.
Deutsche Wohnen AG climbed 2.6 percent to 14.20 euros, the highest in more than two months. Germany’s second-largest residential landlord by market value said first-half profit jumped 85 percent as acquisitions increased rental income. The company raised its earnings forecast for 2013.
Resolution Ltd. jumped 3.7 percent to 335.5 pence. The insurance-buyout firm founded by Clive Cowdery reported a 17 percent in increase in first-half profit, beating analyst estimates, as its U.K. division boosted new business.
K+S declined 2.8 percent to 18.07 euros. Second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and some hedging transactions dropped 26 percent to 162.6 million euros, missing the average analyst projection of 175.2 million euros. Sales fell 12 percent to 874.5 million euros, also missing estimates.

Potash Uncertainty

Europe’s largest potash maker said it sees “significant uncertainty” on future prices in the potash fertilizer market. Shares of the Kassel, Germany-based company have tumbled 47 percent this year after rival OAO Uralkali said it would exit a cartel that held up prices for the crop nutrient.
Geberit AG sank 5.3 percent to 241.0 francs for the biggest drop in the Stoxx 600. The Swiss maker of toilets and bathroom piping said there’s been “a clear fall in demand” in most European markets since the fourth quarter of 2012 and a continued downturn in public construction in North America.
“An end to this trend, or a recovery, is not in sight,” Geberit wrote in a statement today.
Michael Page International Plc tumbled 3.9 percent, the biggest drop since April, to 450.5 pence. The U.K. recruitment company said the three months through September will be “another challenging quarter” after first-half gross profit fell 4.4 percent.
To contact the reporter on this story: Inyoung Hwang in London at ihwang7@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net