Investors may be concerned about the US litigation surrounding Zantac, a heartburn drug that contains a possible carcinogen. Photo / 123RF
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Major US indexes were mixed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.3 percent
and the S&P 500 was up 0.1 percent at the time of writing. On the other side, the Nasdaq fell 0.4 percent.
The top performing sector was energy, up 3.8 percent following a continued rally in energy futures.
The financial and materials sectors also had increases of 1.0 and 0.9 percent, respectively. Losses were health (-0.6 percent), consumer discretionary (-0.4 percent), and real estate (-0.3 percent).
Oil and gas producer Devon Energy led the market, up 7.3 percent at the time of writing, following a rise in energy futures.
Oilfield services company Schlumberger and exploration and production firm Marathon Oil also benefited from this environment, each rising 6.6 and 6.5 percent.
In contrast, biopharmaceutical company Pfizer fell 4.0 percent. Investors may be concerned about the US litigation surrounding Zantac, a heartburn drug containing a possible carcinogen, which was pulled from the shelves in 2020 on the orders of the Food and Drug Administration.
Solar technology company Enphase Energy fell 3.0 percent, likely related to the surge in fossil fuel futures seen recently.
Digital platform provider ServiceNow fell 2.7 percent.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Producer Price Index (PPI) data for July.
The index measures the average change in sales prices received by domestic producers for their output.
Somewhat like the consumer price index, the PPI differs in the sense that it includes the components of personal consumption that are not paid for by the purchaser of a product.
Consensus estimates were for a 0.2 percent gain in the index, but the data unexpectedly showed a 0.5 percent decline.
Other parts of the World
Mixed movements continued in Asia. The Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite rose 2.4 and 1.6 percent, respectively. In contrast, the Nikkei fell 0.7 percent.
European markets were mixed overnight with the CAC up 0.3 percent, while the FTSE and the Dax fell 0.6 and 0.1 percent, respectively.
Gold prices retreated 0.4 percent to US$1806 an ounce.
Energy futures continued to rally. WTI Crude Oil rose 3.2 percent to US$94.84 a barrel, while natural gas rose 8.0 percent.
Ethereum and Bitcoin rose 4.4 and 2.9 percent, respectively.
At the time of writing, the US 10-Year Treasury rate was up nine basis points at 2.869 percent.
The NZX 50 rose 0.1 percent to 11,760.01 points.
Financial services firm Heartland Group led the gains with a 2.9 percent rise yesterday. a2 Milk Company regained lost ground with a 2.9 percent increase.
Rounding out the day’s outperformers was retirement village operator Summerset Group Holdings, which improved 2.7 percent.
In contrast, real estate owner and developer Precinct Properties fell 2.7 percent.
Cinema technology company Vista Group International fell 2.5 percent. Manufacturer Skellerup Holdings was also among the bottom movers, down 1.9 percent.
According to Statistics New Zealand migration data for the year to June 2022, 11,500 more people left New Zealand than arrived, adding fuel to some fears of a brain drain.
Of the 60,700 departures, more than 24,000 were New Zealand citizens leaving the country.
According to Statistics New Zealand travel data, 310,000 overseas visitors arrived on our shores in the year ending June 2022, up from 186,000 the previous year.
Although this data may be encouraging for the tourism sector, this result remains significantly lower than the pre-Covid figures, when the annual arrivals of foreign visitors reached 4 million.
The ASX 200 closed at 7071.00 points on Thursday, up 1.1 per cent.
10 out of 11 sectors closed higher. Consumer discretionary led the way with a 2.2 percent incline and Australian real estate investment trusts rose 2.0 percent. Utilities were the one sector that declined, losing 1.5 percent.
Family tracking app Life 360 led single stocks with a 13.3 percent increase. Battery and technology company Novonix gained 10.87 percent and Pinnacle Investment’s share price rose 7.2 percent.
Share register operator Computershare fell 5.1 percent, Rio Tinto fell 4.0 percent and APA Group dropped 2.2 percent.
AMP (-0.9 percent) released earnings results for the first half of 2022, reporting a 25 percent drop in earnings from the first half of 2021.
The company announced that due to capital strength from asset sales and underlying operations, they will return A$1.1 billion of capital to shareholders.
Capital will be returned through an A$350 million on-market share buyback, which will start immediately, and a further A$750 million of dividends, capital returns or additional share buy backs planned in FY23.
GQG Partners (+4.9 percent) also released mid-year results, reporting net operating income of US$174.2 million for the first six months of 2022, beating forecasts of US$172.9.
The company declared a second quarter interim dividend of US$0.0198 per share.
Telstra (-1.2 per cent) reported falls in revenues (-4.6 per cent) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (-5.0 per cent), to A$1.8 billion and A$7.3 billion respectively .
The company increased its dividend to 8.5 cents per share, bringing the year’s total dividend to 16.5 cents per share. This is the first dividend increase since 2015.
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