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International markets roundup

NEW YORK: A swoon in technology and transportation shares led the S&P 500 slightly lower on a day full of corporate earnings reports, but the Dow industrials set a record closing high, helped by a jump in Verizon.

The Dow Jones Transport Average, often looked at as a gauge of the economy's health, closed down 3.1 per cent on Thursday, dragged lower after a worrisome outlook from package delivery company United Parcel Service.

The transports fell to their lowest point in nearly two months as UPS rival FedEx also declined.

The S&P 500 technology sector was the worst performing major group, falling 0.8 per cent even as Facebook shares gained 2.9 per cent after the social media company's results.

After the bell, Amazon.com shares fell 2.7 per cent after the e-commerce company's results. Amazon is the last of the high-flying companies known as "FANG" stocks to report this quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.39 per cent to 21,796.55, the S&P 500 lost 0.10 per cent to 2475.42 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.63 per cent to 6382.19.

LONDON: A punishing fall in AstraZeneca's shares after the failure of a key lung cancer study for the pharma company offset the impact of earnings-led gains for drinks giant Diageo on Britain's top share index.

Britain's FTSE 100 index fell 0.2 per cent on Thursday, in line with the broader European market.

It was a rough day for AstraZeneca which lost around $US13 billion ($A16.3 billion) of its market value as its shares plunged 15.7 per cent, its worst day on record.

The healthcare firm's combination of two injectable immunotherapy drugs, durvalumab and tremelimumab, failed to help patients as hoped in a study which was seen as key to proving the value of the group's new drug pipeline.

AstraZeneca shares' biggest one-day drop also dominated stock trading in Europe.

Regional healthcare stocks fell 1.2 per cent to their lowest in more than four months. Solid results from big firms including Swiss drugmaker Roche, beer maker AB InBev and Diageo were not enough to pull broad indexes up.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.1 per cent and euro zone bluechips edged down 0.2 per cent, while Germany's DAX dropped 0.76 per cent to 12,212.04 as results from BASF and Deutsche Bank underwhelmed.

TOKYO: MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 1 per cent to heights not seen since December 2007.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.15 per cent.

Hong Kong shares gained for a fourth straight session as investors took heart from Wall Street's climb to record highs after the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and on strong corporate earnings.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 0.71 per cent higher at 27,131.17, a new 2-year high, helped by gains in technology and financial shares.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was up 0.3 per cent at 10,858.19.

China stocks recouped early losses and edged higher on Thursday, aided by a strong bounce in start-ups as investors hunted for bargains after small caps were mauled last week.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.18 per cent to 3,712.19 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index crept just 0.06 per cent higher to 3,249.78.

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 1.13 points, or 0.015 per cent, to 7711.72.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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