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Foreign Stock Roundup: BP Buys Cairn Energy Stake, Honda to Recall 900K Minivans

Swarup Gupta
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Germany’s political crisis weighed on Europe’s indexes throughout last week even as automobile stocks emerged the largest gainers. In Asia, China’s stocks suffered steep losses even as the Hang Seng breached the 30,000 barrier. Meanwhile, Chile’s stocks were weighed down by concerns surrounding presidential elections. Investors in Brazil remained apprehensive about the prospects of pension reforms.

Germany’s Political Crisis Weighs on Europe’s Stocks

Stocks across Europe finished in the green last Monday following gains on Wall Street and softness in the Euro. These factors outweighed fears emanating from the political crisis in Germany. The STOXX 600 increased 0.7% with nearly all prominent sectors closing the day with gains.

The CAC 40, DAX and FTSE 100 gained 0.4%, 0.5% and 0.1%, respectively. Switzerland’s benchmark SMI index moved 1.3% higher boosted by the likes of Roche Holding AG RHHBY. Auto stocks emerged as the best performer, gaining 1.3%.

The STOXX 600 gained 0.4% last Tuesday with only five sectors closing in the red. Europe’s stocks mostly ended higher despite lingering concerns surrounding the political situation in Germany. The FTSE 100 and the CAC 40 increased by 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively. The DAX gained 0.8%, unhindered by the prospect of fresh elections. However, Spain’s benchmark IBEX index lost 0.3%. Auto stocks were once again the star performers of the day, led by Volkswagen VLKAY.

News on the United Kingdom’s budget and corporate proceedings dominated market proceedings in Europe, last Wednesday. The STOXX 600 lost 0.3% with sectors ending the day mixed. The FTSE 100 increased 0.1% but the CAC 40 and the DAX lost 0.3% and 1.2%, respectively. Commodities, retail and utilities emerged as the best performers of the day. Dismal earnings results dragged down travel and leisure stocks.

The STOXX inched up 0.02% last Thursday even as global trading volumes remained low on Thanksgiving. The CAC 40 gained 0.5% even though the FTSE 100 and the DAX slipped by 0.02% and 0.1%, respectively. Stocks of utilities companies suffered the most, losing 0.4% to end as the worst performer for the day. Basic resources stocks gained 0.3%, emerging as the best performers of the day.

Last Friday, Europe’s stocks closed in the red even as liquidity remained low due to the holiday on Thanksgiving. The STOXX 600 lost 0.1% but managed to gain 0.7% over the week. The FTSE 100 closed 0.1% lower while the CAC 40 and the DAX gained 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively. Banking stocks emerged as the best performers for the day, following reports that Europe’s regulators were easing rules governing the disposal of bad debts.

China’s Stocks Suffer Weekly Losses, Hang Seng Breaks 30,000 Barrier

Stocks across Asia ended mixed on last Monday even as Wall Street suffered losses following concerns about the prospects of the new tax legislation. The ASX 200 lost 0.2% while the Nikkei 225, Topix and the Kospi declined by 0.6%, 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. China’s stocks recovered from early losses to close higher. The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Composite gained 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

Strong gains for U.S. equity markets helped Asia’s stocks close higher  last Tuesday. The ASX 300 gained 0.3% while the Nikkei 225, Topix and Kospi increased by 0.7%, 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Composite gained 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index moved above the 30,000 mark early last Wednesday. Meanwhile, stocks across Asia closed in the black following record breaking gains for Wall Street overnight. The ASX 200 gained 0.4% while the Nikkei 225 and Topix gained 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively. South Korea’s Kospi increased 0.4%. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Composite gained 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively.   

China’s stocks suffered losses last Thursday even as most other Asian markets ended mostly flat. This was in keeping with the overnight session on Wall Street where U.S. investors were busy digesting the latest Fed meeting’s minutes.

The Shanghai Composite lost 2.3% while the Shenzhen Composite and the CSI 300 each declined by 2.9%. Australia’s ASX 200 ended the day nearly unchanged whole the Kospi closed with minute losses. Japan’s markets were closed for a national holiday.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.1% last Friday, recovering from early losses. Markets across Asia closely mixed even as U.S. markets were closed overnight for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Kospi gained 0.3% while the ASX 200 ended the day 0.1% lower. The Shenzhen Composite declined 0.1% while the Shanghai Composite managed to end 0.1% higher. However, China’s benchmark index lost 1.1% over last week.

Election Worries Weigh on Chile’s Stocks, Pension Reform Fears Hurt Bovespa

Last Monday, Chile’s benchmark IPSA index declined by 5.9%. Losses for Chile’s stocks occurred after Sebastian Pinera, widely viewed as an investor-friendly candidate, secured a lower-than-expected level of support in the country’s presidential elections. Equity markets in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico were closed because of public holidays.

Last Tuesday, stocks in Brazil hit their highest level in three weeks following hopes that legislators will allow the passage of a plan to restructure the social security system and tackle burgeoning public debt. The Bovespa gained 1.8%, posting the largest increase among markets in the region. Itau Unibanco ITUB, Vale SA VALE and Petrobras PBR made the highest contribution in terms of points to the index.

Argentina’s benchmark Merval index increased by 1.1% last Wednesday after the country’s central bank kept benchmark rates unchanged. Rising crude prices also boosted Argentina’s commodities-led equity market. The Bovespa inched up 0.1% while Chile’s IPSA index slid 0.6% on lingering concerns over the outcome of presidential elections.

Last Thursday, benchmarks across Latin America suffered losses even as trading volumes remained low on Thanksgiving. Chile’s IPSA lost 1.8% following the recent weak electoral performance by market-friendly conservatives. Mexico’s S&P/BVM IPC index moved 0.1% lower following a spike in inflation levels in early November.

Meanwhile, the Bovespa declined 0.04% following concerns over the prospects of pension reforms. The Bovespa slipped by 0.03% last Friday even as traders remained wary of making large bets while pension reform fears continued to haunt Brazil’s equity market.

Stocks in the News

Roche’s subsidiary Genentech, announced that the phase III IMpower150 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Tecentriq in combination with chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel), with or without Avastin has met its co-primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS). The study is being conducted in people with stage IV non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who had not been treated with chemotherapy for their advanced disease.

According to Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) Roche, the initial results from the co-primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) were encouraging and it expects to provide the results for the next overall survival in the first half of 2018. Further, the company is also evaluating the combination in a broad range of other cancers. (Read: Roche Reports Positive Data From Tecentriq Combination Study)

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. HMC has announced that it will recall around 900,000 Odyssey minivans, per Associated Press news. The Japanese vehicle maker took this decision as it feels that at the time of reasonable to heavy braking, the seats in the second row may tilt forward if not properly fastened.
Zacks Rank #3 Honda has revealed that 46 cases of minor injuries have been reported pertaining to this recall issue. The recall includes Odyssey minivans from 2011-2017. (Read: Honda to Recall 900,000 Odyssey Minivans to Fix Faulty Seats)

Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA has entered into a strategic alliance with Ruentex Group and Auchan Retail S.A., as part of its latest bid to ramp up “New Retail” efforts in China.

Zacks Rank #3 Alibaba is buying a 36.2% stake in China’s leading hypermarket operator, Sun Art Retail Group from Ruentex for $2.9 billion (HK$22.4 billion). The deal will make Alibaba, the second-largest stakeholder in Sun Art after Auchan, which is also raising its stake to 36.18%.

Sun Art runs 446 hypermarkets across 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China under “Auchan” and “RT-Mart” banners. It also runs unstaffed stores under the “Auchan Minute” brand. (Read: Alibaba Ups the Ante in New Retail With Fresh Investments)

BP plc BP is planning to acquire a stake in Cairn Energy’s oil assets, located offshore Senegal, according to Reuters. Subject to approval by the state, BP intends to buy 30% interest in Cairn Energy’s deepwater SNE field. This acquisition is likely to be valued at $600 million. However, the companies have declined to disclose details. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Novartis AG NVS announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved Tasigna for the treatment of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia in the chronic phase (Ph+ CML-CP) and pediatric patients with Ph+ CML-CP with resistance or intolerance to prior therapy including imatinib. Novartis has a Zacks Rank #3.

An approval was in the cards as European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use had given a positive opinion on the same. (Read: Novartis Receives EC Nod for Tasigna Label Expansion)

Petrobras recently filed for an IPO for its fuel distribution subsidiary Petrobras Distribuidora S.A. The Brazilian energy giant intends to raise around $2.3 billion or $7.5 billion reais at the high end of the price range of 15 reais-19 reais per share.

Zacks Rank #3 Petrobras is expected to offer between 25% and 40% of its stake in BR Distribuidora. Petrobras seeks a valuation of up to $6.8 billion for its fuel distribution arm which operates over 8,000 gas stations, 91 fuel storage bases, 15 lubricant deposits and 109 fuel stations in airports.

Major financial service provider Citigroup Inc. C is likely to be the lead underwriter of the offering along with seven other banks. Further, Petrobras Distribuidora is later likely to merge with another subsidiary of Petrobras — Downstream Participações Ltda. (Read: Petrobras Seeks IPO Approval for Fuel Distribution Arm)

Performance of Leading Foreign Stocks

The table given below shows the price movements of 10 of the largest stocks listed on indexes worldwide, over the last five days and during the last six months.

Ticker Last 5 Day's Performance 6-Month Performance
SNY +2.4% -5.9%
E -2.1% +2.6%
SAP +3.4% +9.5%
IDEXY +1.8% -12.9%
BABA +2.5% +54.2%
CHL -0.6% -7.7%
KEP +0.9% -8.1%
TM +1.2% +17.7%
ABEV +4.1% +10.6%
MELI +0.2% -5.4%

Next Week’s Outlook

Political uncertainty in Germany and Britain are likely to weigh on Europe’s bourses for some time to come. Meanwhile, stocks in Asia suffered losses during a holiday shortened week for U.S. stocks. Concerns surrounding political developments are likely to weigh on Latin America’s stocks over the near future as well. Investors across the world should brace for a volatile end to the month of November.

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Citigroup Inc. (C) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras (PBR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Novartis AG (NVS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Honda Motor Company, Ltd. (HMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Itau Unibanco Banco Holding SA (ITUB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
VALE S.A. (VALE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
BP p.l.c. (BP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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