Log in
Lost password
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  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
02:12a German industry orders unexpectedly fall in August
02:11a KYOCERA : Announces Resolution of Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Hanwha Q CELLS Japan Co., Ltd.
02:11a ELEVAATE : Strengthens Leadership Team with Addition of David Shearer as VP Marketing
02:10a BANK OF JAPAN : Asian stocks rise as investors hold out for more Japan stimulus, delay in US rate hike
02:09a TELIASONERA : executes on new strategy – Teo and Omnitel join forces
02:09a INNATE PHARMA : Opening of the Phase I/II trial of IPH2201 in combination with ibrutinib in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia
02:09a METSO : presents its industry-leading minerals processing solutions at the MENA Mining Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
02:09a PRESIDENT ENERGY : Acquisition of remaining 36% of Pirity Concession, Paraguay
02:09a SWISSCOM : teams up with Bryan Adams to launch special digital photo project
02:09a QUBE : Change of Registered Office Address
Latest news
Hot News 
XCHANGING : Takeover talk ; companies today
APR ENERGY : Reveals it is in takeover talks
HARGREAVES SERVICES : will back any viable Redcar rescue bid ; ENERGY
DEERE MPANY : Whirlpool reach labor deals
Peltz Asks Little of GE, for Now
Most Read News
10/05 PSA PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY : Producer Price Survey : August 2015
10/05 UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE : Tequila plant shows promise for biofuel
10/05 British Airways' last flight out of Uganda
10/05 QT Vascular Announces Interim Clinical Trial Results Of Chocolate Touch
10/05 Allocadia's Twin Co-Founders Named to Forty Under 40 List by BIV
Most recommended articles
02:12a German industry orders unexpectedly fall in August
02:08a Asian shares rise on fading Fed rate views
02:06a Samsung Electronics struggles to find fix for smartphone woes
02:06a VW's South Korea Sept sales fall 7.8 percent vs Aug as emissions scandal weighs
02:03a VW's South Korea September sales fall 7.8 percent vs August as emissions scandal weighs