Deutsche Bank lifts HSBC target price, retains ‘hold’

Deutsche Bank bumped up its target price on shares of HSBC, hailing the restart of dividend payments in the US but cautioned that investors would need to be patient when it came to expectations for capital upstreaming from the States.

Analysts David Lock and Stephen Andrews welcomed the first dividends from HSBC’s US unit in nearly 10 years.

While symbolic, they expected it would help fund future buybacks.

As well, they said the lender’s first quarter results printed ahead of analysts’ estimates, helped by a better performance from life insurance manufacturing and investment distribution.

However, commentary from management on the pace of capital upstreaming from the US was absent.

Lock and Andrews said it would still take more than three years for between seven to eight billion dollars of excess capital in the US to be returned to the holding company.

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Santander shares slip despite beating first quarter forecasts

Spain’s largest lender posted better-than-expected quarterly profits thanks to a strong performance in almost all regions – especially in Brazil, UK and Spain – and a drop in its non-performing loan ratio.

Net profits at Santander jumped 14% during the first three months of the year to reach 1.87bn, edging past the consensus forecast from FACTSET for 1.847bn.

Mexico was one weak spot, with results down 3% in comparison to the prior quarter.

At 11.3bn top line growth was 5% ahead quarter-on-quarter, with costs just 1.6% higher versus the fourth quarter of 2016 and loan loss provisions stable.

Its net interert income improved 10.2% year-on-year to hit 8.402bn while its non-performing loan ratio dropped from 4.33% one year ago to 3.74%.

Together, the above saw it return on tangible equity rise by 100 basis points to 12.1%. driving an 11 basis point improvement in its common equity Tier 1 ratio to 10.66%.

Santander reiterated its commitment to lift its CET1 ratio by roughly 10 basis points per quarter.

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Dow Jones Index Hits New All-Time High As Fed Prepares to Hike

Another day and another new all-time high for the Dow Jones industrial average index. It seems like groundhog day with this strap line, but here it goes again. The DJIA was buoyed by tech stocks rebounding in tremendous fashion, with the Nasdaq 100 also pushing higher after a few days of the wobbles.

Movers within the index were 3M and Goldman Sachs, posting the most gains. But technology stocks were back, and with a bang. As out-performers on the year so far, it was no surprise to see some relief as the S&P information technology sector has already gained 17.6 percent this year to date.

But tomorrow is the big day. The Federal Reserve will make their quarterly interest rate announcement tomorrow, with expectation that the central bank is going to raise interest rates by a quarter point.

How this will affect the Dow Jones index is hard to predict. Some commentators are saying the Dow Jones has already priced in a rate hike, some are saying brace for a sell on “event” type move. But all we can do is “wait and see”.

It would be foolish not to expect some sort of correction in value of the blue chip stocks in the Dow Jones index. If you look at the chart below, you would have to say it’s gone way (way) higher than anyone could have predicted before President Trump won the election. That doesn’t mean it can’t go higher, but how much?


In the past, shocks from interest rate decisions have been one of the main catalysts for a surge in the opposite direction for stocks. When interest rates are hiked by a higher percentage than what was expected it can cause a sell off.

But right now the Federal Reserve are playing it cool and calm. No shocks, no large jumps. Just sneak those rates up as quarter points, in a gradual and timely fashion. Maybe this is allowing investors to digest the changes, and continue to hold a bullish stance? Well, no one else seems to have a firm answer as to why the markets are going so high. It is as good as any other explanation.

Until next time…


Housebuilders hit by hung parliament

London-listed housebuilders slumped on Friday as investors woke up to news of a hung parliament, after PM Theresa May failed to get the seats needed to deliver a majority government.
With just days before Brexit negotiations are due to kick off, May has fallen short of the 326 seats needed to deliver a majority Conservative government in the 650-seat House of Commons, leaving the UK in political limbo.

Shore Capital pointed out that the UK housing market was already losing momentum with signs of growing caution by potential home buyers, adding that the uncertainty that is likely to follow this election result can only consolidate this. The brokerage noted that the housing market does not bear uncertainty well and said that with a number of question marks over issues such as what direction Brexit negotiations will take or which way housing policy will go, that uncertainty is likely to grow.

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FTSE 100 Holds Firm as Election Ends With Hung Parliament

A hung parliament was declared in the U.K. general election which resulted in some wild swings overnight for the FTSE 100.

After ending slightly down on Thursday, the main share index was priced by spread betting companies as down 100 points as the exit polls were announced.

During the early hours, one by one the results came in and the overnight price gradually began to recover. When it became apparent that the Conservative party would continue to hold the most seats and have the ability to form a coalition Government, the FTSE 100 price jumped when the market opened and headed toward the weeks highs.

And there it stayed, pretty much.

For the rest of the trading day the index held tight in a 50 point range from 7480 to 7530, give or take a few points.

Relief all round for investors who would have taken a Corbyn victory as a signal to sell, with extreme uncertainty in the city about how his Labour Government and their policies would affect business growth.

As for individual sectors, the majority were buoyed by the result and finished positive. The main laggards were general retailers and food producers, as the value of sterling declined – pointing to imports become more expensive.

The British Pound fell 300 pips overnight when exit polls were announced but managed to recover a small piece of ground during the morning session in Europe.

Further pressure is expected for sterling over the coming days. Once again uncertain times in the U.K. are on the horizon, with Brexit talks about to begin and no Government yet in place to move the process forward.

One thing is for sure- it’s never dull for long on the UK markets!