European shares higher amid upbeat GDP data

European shares edged higher on Friday, heading all major stock indices to notch the seventh advance in eight sessions, following positive economic data on European economy. The German economy grew 0.4% on improving exports, while the French GDP increased by 0.3% amid soaring corporate investment in the last quarter of 2013, both beating the analyst estimates.

The Euro Stoxx 600 Index closed the week at 333.32 points, marking a weekly gain of 2.5%. Out of the 19 groups, only telecommunication and financial shares plunged on week, while the safer utility stocks posted the biggest rally of 1.2%. Basic material group was the second biggest weekly gainer, as the mining and exploration companies Kazakhmys Plc and Fresnillo Plc stock prices added 30.1% and 23%, respectively. The miners start to rebound from their sharp losses in 2013, as massive cuts in spending outweighed the falling demand for metals. The sector has rallied 1% so far this year on the Euro Stoxx 600.

Elsewhere in the region, the German DAX posted the sharpest rally of 4% to finish the last week at 9,662.4 points. ThyssenKrupp was the major mover on the index, as it gained after smaller than expected loss in its Brazilian unit helped to release a better report on its first quarter profit.

The British FTSE 100 Index was 1.1% higher in the week ending February 14 to close it at 6,727.37. The stocks were mostly flat on Friday following worse than expected data on U.S. industrial production.


U.S. Stocks climb on better consumer confidence

American stocks finished the week with gains, as the S&P 500 Index was approaching its all time high on improving confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy. Consumer confidence in the world’s largest economy was better than expected in February, while the factory output data came out worse than projected in January. The equities were also boosted by solid earnings results . The S&P 500 Index rallied as much as 2.2% on week to close at 1,838.63 on February 14. Telecommunication shares were the only losers last week, while energy shares surged 1.5% on week.

Among individual movers, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co jumped nearly 14% on week, as the company announced on Thursday about dissolving its global alliance with Sumitomo Rubber Industries, a Japanese tire maker. Another top performer was Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. that reported better than expected quarterly earnings to drag higher the basic material sector. On the downside, Agilent Technologies that was the biggest loser on the S&P 500 on Friday with a weekly drop of 7%. The health care company’s stock price tumbled after lowering its full-year adjusted earnings forecast from $3.33 to between $2.96 and $3.16.

The Dow was up 2.2% to end at 16.154.39 on Friday, while the Nasdaq finished the week at 4,244.03.


Japanese Stocks: Japanese stock decline amid rising Yen

Japanese shares traded mostly in the red zone during the week ending February 14, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index falling to 14,313.03 on Friday for its lowest close in ten days. The nation’s stock market was poised to decline, as Yen kept appreciating. In addition, comments made by Akira Amari, Japan’s Minister of Finance, did not create a positive impact on markets, since MR Amari made a pledge to launch the $53 billion stimulus package by this year’s June. The broader TOPIX Index declined 1.7% on week to close at 1,183.82 on Friday, its lowest level since February 6 with 24 out of 33 industry groups included in the gauge posting losses. In the meantime, rubber products and insurance shares capped further losses by adding 2.5% and 2.4%, respectively. Japan tyre maker shares plummeted after Goodyear dissolved its longstanding alliance with Sumitomo Rubber. Apart from that, internet shares showed good performance, as stocks of Mixi, the social network company, and Yahoo Japan surged after raising their annual earnings outlook.

The Nikkei 225 Index finished Friday's trading session at 14,313.03, 2.8% lower compared to the beginning of week.


Asia Pacific Shares firmly in green

Asia Pacific shares finished higher on February 14, following gains on Wall Street overnight after data releases on the EU’s economic growth positively surprised investors. All three benchmark indices headed to weekly gains.

Australian stock market edged higher in the week ending February 14, rebounding from the losses posted a week earlier. The shares were buoyed by better than expected earnings reports. All but one industry groups finished the week higher, with strong gains in technology, utility and basic material sectors, while health care shares were the only ones declining.

Perseus Mining Ltd, St Barbara Ltd and Panaust Ltd were the best performing blue-chip companies on the S&P/ASX 200, dragging higher basic material sector, whereas falling stock price of Whitehaven Coal Ltd halted further increase in the energy sector that was 2.3% up.

The Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed higher on Friday after a modest trade amid positive trading sessions in the Mainland China bourses. The benchmark was 3.3% on week, yet still posting a monthly decline of 2.6%.

The New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 1.2% on week to finish at 4,888.40.


EXPLANATIONS

Indexes

  • Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) or (SPX) - U.S. stock market index consisting of the 500 large-cap shares widely traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (INDU) - U.S. stock market index consisting of the 30 large publicly owned U.S. companies , primarily industrials

  • NASDAQ Composite Index - U.S. stock market index representing all the stocks that are traded on the Nasdaq stock market, mostly technology and Internet-related

  • New Zealand Exchange 50 Gross Index (NZX 50) - stock market index consisting of the top 50 companies listed on the New Zealand Stock exchange

  • S&P/ASX 200 - a market-capitalization weighted stock market index of stocks listed on the Australian Securities Exchange from Standard and Poor’s

  • Hang Seng Index (HI) - Hong Kong’s stock market index consisting of 48 largest companies listed on the Hong Kong Exchange

  • Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average (Nikkei 225 Index) or (NKY) - Japanese stock market index consisting of the 225 largest companies listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange

  • FTSE 100 Index (UKX) - U.K. stock market index consisting of the 100 most capitalized U.K. companies trading on the London Stock Exchange

  • DAX Index (DAX) - German stock market index consisting of the 30 largest and most liquid German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

  • Eurostoxx 600 - stock market index, derived from the Stoxx Europe Total Market Index, consisting of 600 large, mid– and small-sized companies from 18 European countries

Chart

  • Correlation - statistical measure of the linear relationship between two random variables. It is defined as the covariance divided by the standard deviation of two variables.

  • Historical price changes - chart reflecting the historical price changes of particular region’s stock indices

Indicators

  • Industry performance - weekly performance of industries within the particular stock market index

  • Top performers - companies within a particular stock market index showing the best or worst weekly performance

  • Performance - relative historical change of stock market index value