#PreMarket Primer: Thursday, December 26: Nikkei Climbs To New Highs
The Japanese Nikkei rose to a six year high on Wednesday and many money managers are expecting the country’s stocks to push even higher. The Nikkei has risen 54 percent so far in 2013, buoyed by expectations that Japan will emerge from almost two decades of deflation. Most expect the Japanese government’s economic strategy to increase corporate profits further in 2014.
In other news around the markets:
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Toshiba is looking to buy a majority stake in NuGeneration Ltd, a joint venture between Iberdrola and GDF Suez. Toshiba is interested in investing in the future of nuclear power overseas after a nuclear accident in Japan depressed interest.
- Tension between China, South Korea and Japan heightened after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine on Thursday. The shrine honors Japanese leaders who were convicted of war crimes and angered both Chinese and South Korean officials.
- Anti-government protests in Thailand escalated on Thursday after a clash between riot police and protestors turned violent. The country’s Election Commission has raised the possibility of postponing February’s poll in light of the issue.
- Bad weather coupled with a high volume of holiday packages caused delays at UPS this week, delaying Christmas present deliveries around the globe. Companies like Amazon.com which guaranteed shipping before the holiday were forced to offer refunds and benefits in order to compensate for missed delivery schedules.
Asian markets were mixed, the Japanese NIKKEI was up 1.03 percent while China’s Shanghai composite lost 1.58 percent. The Hang Seng index gained 1.13 percent and the Shenzhen composite was down 1.75 percent.
Europe’s markets were up across the board, the UK’s FTSE gained 0.23 percent, the German DAX was up 0.94 percent Italy’s MIB gained 0.71 percent and the Spanish IBEX gained 0.63 percent.
Energy futures were lower on Thursday morning, Brent futures were down 0.34 percent and WTI futures lost 0.02 percent. Gold gained 0.11 percent and silver was flat. Industrial metals were mostly higher with zinc posting the largest gains, up 0.88 percent.
Currency markets were quiet, the euro remained below $1.37 and the pound gained 0.19 percent against the greenback. The dollar was up 0.39 percent against the yen and 0.28 percent against the Australian dollar.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
- Perrigo Company PLC (NYSE: PRGO) lost 0.16 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.07 percent over the past week.
No notable earnings releases expected on Thursday.
Japanese data dominated Thursday’s economic calendar with releases including CPI, retail sales, the unemployment rate and industrial production. Elsewhere in the world, investors will be watching for US initial and continuing jobless claims and Mexico’s trade balance.
Tune into Benzinga’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.
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