Early Morning Call: dollar basket steady ahead of mid-term elections, CPI
Markets are generally little moved ahead of the US mid-term elections and CPI data.
Equity market overview
Equity markets in the Asia-Pacific region mostly rose overnight, following the lead of yesterday’s US session. European stocks also closed mostly higher yesterday, but opened today’s session in the red.
British businesses are meanwhile facing a difficult Christmas season according to the latest consumer data. British Retail Consortium (BRC) said earlier this morning that spending at major stores rose by 1.6% in October on an annual basis, slowing from 2.2% in September.
Also, a Barclaycard survey released between 21 and 24 October said that 48% of people plan to spend less this Christmas.
In Australia, Westpac consumer sentiment slid to 78 in November from 83.7 the previous month, as rising interest rates and inflation weigh on households. Measures of family finances compared with a year ago fell 3.4%, while outlook for finances over the next 12 months tumbled 11.2%.
Also in Australia, the NAB business confidence index fell five points to zero in October 2022, marking the lowest reading since a negative print in December 2021.
In New Zealand, Adrian Orr has been reappointed governer of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) for another five-year term, after a unanimous recommendation from the RBNZ's board.
Associated British Foods recorded a 22% increase in revenue to £17Bln. Total sales at Primark rose 43% to £7.7Bln. Adjusted operating profit up 42% to £1.44Bln. The group however reiterated its forecast for a drop in profit in its current year due to higher energy and currency costs and consumers' declining disposable income.
Watch out for Deutsche Post at the open in Frankfurt. The German Logistics group raised its 2022 EBIT forecast to around €8.4 billion from around €8bn previously "in response to the continuing positive business and earnings performance in the DHL divisions".
Deutsche Post posted a net income of €1.23bn, and revenue of over €24bn in the third quarter (Q3), beating expectations of €22.4bn.
Munich Re posted a 44% rise in net profit in the third quarter, to €527 million, to be compared with the €366m a year ago when storm claims also dented results. Munich Re says it "firmly" sticks to its full-year (FY) earnings target.
French carmaker Renault plans to roughly double its operating margin in coming years as it embarks on a deep overhaul to split its electric vehicle (EV) and legacy combustion engine businesses and take on outside investors.
Renault and Chinese carmaker Geely announced this morning a preliminary agreement to launch a new, equally held joint venture that will supply gasoline engines and hybrid technology.
Meanwhile complex talks with partner Nissan Motor Co continue about new investment in an electric vehicle venture.
In the US, Lyft fell as much at 13% in extended trading yesterday evening, after the company said it expected current quarter revenue to come below Wall Street expectations. For the third quarter Lyft reported earnings of 11 cents per share, higher than the six cents expected. Revenue came broadly in line with forecasts at $1.05.
Meanwhile, revenue per active rider climbed to a record high of $51.88, up 4% from the previous quarter and an increase of 14% year-over-year (YoY). That blew past analysts' expectations of $49.40. But the number of active users increased by 7.2% to 20.3 million, missing estimates of 21.3 million.
For the fourth quarter, the company expects revenue between $1.15bn and $1.17bn, while analysts expect $1.17bn.
Walt Disney is scheduled to publish its quarterly earnings tonight. Analysts expect earnings of 59 cents per share, on revenue of $21.38bn. The market will be focused on Disney+ performance. Current company expectations at Disney are of between 230 and 260 million subscribers by the end of 2024.
The company has now just over 152 million subscribers, which means that it will have to make substantial investments if it wants to reach that two-year target, which could really weigh on its profits. Disney shares have been underperforming recently. The stock is down some 44% from its 52-week high.
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