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It’s a mixed picture this morning on European equities with the FTSE and CAC both lower in early trade while the Dax outperforms adding 0.75%. RWE and EON have fallen dramatically this year on fears that that provisions put aside will be insufficient for the full decommissioning of nuclear plants. These concerns were laid to rest this morning by the German Economy Ministry and shares in the companies have jumped higher by 12% and 10% respectively. A small rebound in VW and Deutsche Bank is also helping the broader index here- sustainability of these gains is naturally questionable given the on-going scandals related to the individual companies.
Currently, all UK sectors are in the red, with the oil and mining sector doing only slightly better than the banking and pharma stocks. Metals and oil have held a lot of their gains from last week. WTI has made yet another attempt on the $50/bbl mark while Brent crude, having gained some 25% since it posted a low of $42/bbl in late August looks set to make a move towards it’s 200 Day moving average. This would help underpin the price even further and perhaps allay both deflation and demand concerns to some extent.
BP plc is down some 0.7% this morning shedding some additional upside having failed to break above the 395p mark last Friday. The stock had seen gains for 8 consecutive days in advance of Friday’s trading session but is coming very close to its 12 month average broker target price of 399p so some profit taking was inevitable.
Standard Chartered (-1.58%) has seen its rating cut to hold at Investec, price target remains unchanged at 820p. The recent surge in the share price (c.26%) has been mainly on the back of cost reduction plans and redundancies. Investec see revenue and earnings consensus as too high. Revenue (according to Investec) is seen falling to 10% in 2015, 4% in 2016.
Glencore (+0.86%) is in talks to sell copper mines in Chile and Australia. Trading was halted in HK for some time this morning as this news was released. The sale process is in response to a number of unsolicited offers and will add to the debt cutting programme announced last month. The mining giant also announced plans to reduce and / or curtail annualised zinc mine production by 500kt, affecting various operations in Australia, Kazakhstan and South America. The announced curtailment represents c.40% of total group production. The company does retain the ability to restart production as and when conditions improve.
Investors are less enthusiastic on AstraZeneca (- 0.9%) since hearing that the trials for two of its key cancer treatments has been halted- this is leading the entire sector lower this morning.