Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

Spanish Stocks Underperform, Euro Boosted By Manufacturing Data

02/01/2013 | 03:06am US/Eastern

Spanish stocks were under pressure Friday, weighed by early weakness in the banking sector, while the euro hit its highest level against the dollar in 14 months as investors cheered the euro area's manufacturing data.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Caixabank and Banco Popular all fell heavily as troubled real estate loans continued to unsettle Spanish lenders.

BBVA, the second-biggest bank in Spain, posted a slim profit for the fourth quarter and said profit was down 44% for the full year. Separately, savings bank Caixabank's 2012 net profit plunged 78%.

Investors also digested Spain's decision late Thursday to lift its ban on the short-selling of all stocks trading on local exchanges.

The euro rose to $1.3640, its highest level in 14 months, while rising to Y125.00, levels last seen in May 2010.

Upbeat manufacturing data improved the mood. Swiss manufacturing activity rose to the highest level in one-and-a-half years in January, posting the fourth straight monthly gain. Activity in Spain's manufacturing sector rose to 46.1 in January from 44.6 the previous month. The euro-zone as a whole also came in ahead at 47.9 in January, above views for 47.5 and better than December's figures. The figure got a boost from better-than-expected German data.

"While the index remains consistent with a decline in activity in [Spain's] manufacturing sector and has been below the 50 break-even level for 21 months, it is now at its highest level since June 2011," said Ricardo Santos, European Economist at BNP Paribas Corporate & Investment Bank.

Performance in the rest of Europe was relatively sanguine ahead of a raft of important data. U.S. and euro-zone employment data will be in sharp focus.

In other corporate news, LVMH Moet Hennessy stocks were under pressure as it reported full-year net profit of 3.42 billion euros ($4.62 billion), slightly below analysts' expectations of EUR3.58 billion.

Credit Agricole started lower, but quickly reversed losses after announcing its fourth-quarter results will be hit by goodwill impairment charges totaling EUR2.68 billion. The charges comes in addition to impairments already announced last week. The French bank reassured the net impairment charge won't affect its solvency or liquidity.

Electrolux slumped despite posting strong volume growth in North and Latin America during the fourth-quarter profits, as it warned it expects demand for core appliances in Europe to decline this year.

Performance in Asia was mixed after Chinese manufacturing delivered a muddled message. The official purchasing managers index came in at 50.4 in January, slightly lower than December reading and below economists' estimates.

The final reading on HSBC's purchasing managers index--a survey more skewed towards smaller, private companies than the official reading--rose to a two-year high.

In the U.S., equity markets were slightly weaker as investors weighed a mixed bag of data.

The number of U.S. workers filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits rose sharply last week. Initial jobless claims increased by 38,000 to 368,000, more than expected and the biggest jump since early November.

Chicago-area manufacturing data helped European markets pare losses, with the Chicago Business index climbing to its highest level since April.

Write to Nina Bains at nina.bains@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
06:51a SONY : Cut Affleck Ancestor Slave Link (Wikileaks)
06:44a TURK HAVA YOLLARI AO : Why a Turkish airline CEO wants single pilots to get married
06:44a KOHL : Picture books, animal plushes available through Kohl's Cares
06:43a CINEDIGM : Mixed bag of hit-and-miss movies arrive on Blu-ray, DVD
06:43a INTEL : After 50 years, Moore's Law teaches the power in a grain of rice
06:40aDJChina Cuts Banks' Reserve Ratio -- Update
06:34a GREATERCHINA PROFESSIONAL SERVICES : List of directors and their role and function
06:31a SAUDI BASIC : SABIC signs deal to use U.S. shale gas at British plant
06:31a Fraser Institute Ranks Academic Performance of 749 Ontario Secondary Schools, Spotlights Schools That Succeed With Different Characteristics
06:17a GOOGLE 'C' : intends to speed up web with QUIC Protocol
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
OPPORTUNITY INVEST MGMT : 16 April 2015 - Update didivend payment
BEOWULF MINING : TR-1: Notification of Major Interest in Shares
TROVAGENE : Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage increases
INSPIRIT ENERGY : Issue of Equity and Directors' Dealings 02 April 2015
GAMEACCOUNT NETWORK : DIRECTOR DEALINGS: GameAccount Non-Executive Buys 100,000 Shares
Most Read News
04/18 BANK OF MONTREAL : BMO Capital Markets and Variety Village : Unveil Playground for Children of All Abilities
04/18 Conservatives aim to sell Lloyds shares to small investors
04/18 Communique of IMF steering committee
04:31a DONGFENG MOTOR : PSA Peugeot Citroen and Dongfeng to develop small-car platform
04/18 BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE : Manu Codjia Trio winner of BMW Welt Jazz Award 2015. Series of concerts to be continued in 2016 following the motto “Inspired by Legends”.
Most recommended articles
06:40aDJChina Cuts Banks' Reserve Ratio -- Update
06:31a SAUDI BASIC : SABIC signs deal to use U.S. shale gas at British plant
05:58a China cuts bank reserves again to fight slowdown
05:13aDJDEUTSCHE BANK : Correction to Deutsche Bank Story
05:05a Another crunch week in Greek bailout saga
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF