Asian stocks hit three year high but Europe’s more cautious
The Asian markets focused on earnings today and the MSCI index hit a three year high, while in Europe the continuing geopolitical unrest saw a cautious note return with markets having a weak start before recovering as the trading day developed. There had been hope from the US that the EU would impose tougher sanctions on Russia but that was not the case at a meeting in Brussels yesterday. Unrest in Ukraine and a cessation of many European flights to Israel have made investors nervous; however this has been offset to some extent by generally positive earnings.
Apple grows its core business
Yesterday’s results from Apple came after the closing bell but the data was worth waiting for. iPhone sales for Q2 increased by 12.7 per cent from a year earlier, with much of the growth coming from the BRIC nations; the huge markets of China, Russia, India and Brazil. China alone saw an increase in iPhone sales of 48 per cent. Overall Apple turnover was $37.43 billion, up 6 per cent, while profits increased by 12.7 per cent to $7.75 billion. The company predicts further growth in the current quarter with revenue set to hit $40 billion. Read the full story.
Facebook prepares to update its status but will investors like it?
Two years on from its IPO and Facebook has seen some changes far beyond the redesigned timelines that is where most people’s interest ends. For investors it’s the company’s shift in focus from traditional web advertising to mobile ad spend that is the key. Rapid growth in mobile promotions has seen Facebook sit just behind Google in the sector and its share price last night was just short of $70. Analysts predict a huge growth in Facebook’s results; perhaps 55 per cent increase in turnover, and earnings of 39 cents per share. Read the full story.
Money market reforms expected
The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to announce reforms to the ‘prime’ money markets used by large institutions today. The change would mean a floating net asset value rather than the current fixed $1 NAV. There are likely to be some exceptions to the new rules, addressing concerns by industry leaders that it could shut off short term financing options for businesses. There are many issues surrounding tax and accounting that will need to be clarified to make the change work but some funds and industry sectors are still opposed to a floating NAV. Read the full story.