Weekly Finance Bulletin 29th October 2012
Markets gave up ground. A string of disappointing earnings results from industry stalwarts painted a glum mood for investors as both Apple and Amazon were unable to lift sentiment.
Asia was down, giving up some, if not all, of the positive ground from last week. The hardest hit of the major indices was the Shanghai Composite, giving up 2.93% for the week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retracted just 0.03% for the week, having gained the past 10 sessions.
Earnings data of key Asian stocks put further pressure on valuations. China Unicom HK and Bank of China HK were amongst the culprits and despite the latters holding company (Bank of China Ltd) topped earnings estimates, it too was caught up in weak sentiment.
European markets suffered, as Spain reported jobless numbers at a record high of 25%. In France the mood was also glum as S&P cut the ratings of 10 banks, including BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale.
Heading into the end of the week, nervousness on US GDP data weighed on market sentiment, as this will paint an updated picture on the health of the world’s largest economy.
As it turned out, the U.S. economy grew 2.0% (1st estimate) in the third quarter, fuelled by higher consumer and government spending and increased home building, according to a preliminary government estimate. Consumer spending, which has the biggest impact on GDP, rose 2.0% in the July-to-September period, compared to 1.5% in the second quarter.
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