Today - Wednesday, March 4, 2015
- Complimenting its fast-growing-in-popularity hedged European large-cap, exporter-focused ETF HEDJ, WisdomTree (NASDAQ:WETF) launches the Europe Hedged SmallCap Equity ETF (EUSC), whose holdings theoretically will be more levered to local European economic growth.
- Source: Press release
- Good timing: Down 0.8% to $1.1008, the euro is at more than a decade-low vs. the greenback.
- Following a surprise rate cut at its last meeting, the Bank of Canada today maintains its overnight rate target at 0.75%, and suggests it's satisfied for now that the one rate cut was enough.
- "Financial conditions in Canada have eased materially since January, in response to the Bank’s recent monetary policy action and to global financial developments ... These conditions will mitigate the negative effects of the oil price shock, further boosting growth through stronger non-energy exports and investment."
- The loonie (NYSEARCA:FXC) has strengthened somewhat, now higher by 0.1% at $0.8012.
- ETFs: EWC, CNDA, EWCS, FCAN, QCAN
- IATA reports global airliners showed passenger growth of 4.6% in January.
- International flights were up 5.4% on a revenue passenger kilometer basis, while domestic routes increased 3.2%.
- Jan. passenger demand by carrier region: Europe +5.0%, Asia-Pacific +4.7%, North America +2.7%, Middle East +11.4%, Latin America +5.6%, Africa -0.7%.
- The timing of the Chinese New Year (February this year) was a factor, notes IATA. Overseas trips by domestic passengers rose an estimated 10% Y/Y during the Chinese New Year holiday.
- Global airline stocks: AAL, UAL, DAL, RYAAY, OTCPK:CPCAY, OTCPK:SINGY, CEA, ZNH, CPA, GOL, LFL, OTCPK:DLAKF, AIDIF, OTCPK:QUBSF, ALK, HA, OTCPK:AIRYY, OTCPK:MLYAF, OTCPK:AFLYY, VLRS, LUV.
- Online luxury player Farfetch brought in $86M in a Series E funding round to give the company a valuation close to $1B, according to Business of Fashion.
- A billion dollar valuation on a private fashion house is a rarity.
- The company is expected to use the funds to expands into new global markets.
- Farfetch has been identified in the past as potential target of a larger e-commerce company.
- Luxury sales in Macau were off 20% to 30% for the Chinese New Year holiday period, according to local reports.
- The slide in luxury sales is tied to a crackdown by the Chinese government on corruption which cut into VIP traffic into the gaming mecca.
- The read on Macau doesn't bode well for luxury sales in Hong Kong during Chinese New Year. Sales in Hong Kong were already a concern due to the political unrest in the region.
- Related: Chinese New Year no cure for Macau gaming slide (Mar. 03 2015)
- lChina luxury sellers: Gucci (OTC:GUCG), Prada, Louis Vuitton (OTCPK:LVMUY), Coach (NYSE:COH), Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), Swatch (OTCPK:SWGAY), Burberry (OTCPK:BURBY), Tiffany (NYSE:TIF).
- European shares reversed earlier gains this morning following a final estimate of a closely-watched survey of the region's services and manufacturing sectors.
- The composite reading of Markit's PMI came in at 53.3 in February, weaker than a preliminary reading of 53.5.
- Crashing through support levels that have held for more than a month, the euro headed to a six-week low today under pressure from the ECB's launch of quantitative easing.
- The euro is -0.5% at $1.1118.
- FTSE 100 -0.3%; DAX -0.3%; CAC 40 flat; Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1%.
- ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
- Activity in China's services sector grew modestly in February, with HSBC's Services PMI rising to 52.0 from 51.8 in January, while a sub-index showed new orders rising at their quickest pace in three months.
- "The solid rise in new orders suggests that activity growth may pick up in the months ahead," said Markit's Annabel Fiddes.
- China cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point over the weekend, citing deflationary risk and a property market slowdown.
- Shanghai closed up 0.5% at 3,279.53.
- ETFs: FXI, EWH, KWEB, PGJ, YINN, GXC, FXP, ASHR, HAO, TAO, YANG, CHIQ, CQQQ, CHIX, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, ECNS, FCA, CHII, CN, CHIE, CHIM, EWHS, FCHI, ASHS, KFYP, CNXT, CHNA, KBA, FHK
- Australia’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected in Q4 as the mining investment boom continued to fade and businesses reined in spending amid low confidence.
- GDP growth increased by 0.5% in the December quarter, taking the annual rate of GDP growth to 2.5%, down from 2.7% in the prior period.
- While the RBA held off on a second rate cut yesterday, most economists expect the central bank to pull the trigger in the coming months.
- S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.5% at 5,901.60
- ETFs: EWA, AUSE, KROO, EWAS, FAUS, QAUS
- The Reserve Bank of India surprised markets on Wednesday by cutting rates for the second time this year, joining a world-wide trend of monetary easing that is driving global interest rates to multi-year lows.
- Citing easing inflation and weakness in parts of the economy, the central bank lowered its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 7.5%.
- The move sent India's Sensex index to an all-time high of 30,024.74, breaking the key 30,000-level for the first time.
- Sensex +0.6% at 29,768.77.
- ETFs: EPI, INDY, SCIF, PIN, INDL, INP, INXX, INDA, SCIN, SMIN, INCO
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
- For the first time ever, China's box-office take passed that in the United States in February: $650M compared to the U.S. $640M, according to Entgroup.
- While Rentrak doesn't agree (placing domestic revenues at $760M, though it doesn't break out U.S.), it doesn't affect China's trajectory to world's biggest film market.
- China's recent New Year holiday means theaters were kept clear of foreign films, leaving the way especially clear for The Man from Macau II (starring Chow Yun-Fat) to take the month's crown with $104M. The film's predecessor was key to Bona Film Group's (NASDAQ:BONA) 2014 earnings, contributing 542.9M yuan for the year.
- The Lunar New Year (this year, Feb. 18-24) has become the peak moviegoing holiday in China.
- Don't make too much of it, says Scott Mendelson: It was the Lunar New Year vs. a traditionally weak month for the U.S.
- In related news, Bona has established a second film fund of 1.7B yuan (about $271M) to finance film and TV projects over the next few years.
- China ETFs: FXI, EWH, KWEB, PGJ, YINN, GXC, FXP, ASHR, HAO, TAO, YANG, CHIQ, CQQQ, CHIX, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, ECNS, FCA, CHII, CN, CHIE, CHIM, EWHS, FCHI, ASHS, KFYP, CNXT, CHNA, KBA, FHK
- All-electric and plug-in hybrid car sales showed only modest growth in the U.S. during February.
- A slow pace of sales in February was expected for the Leaf and Chevrolet Volt with General Motors and Nissan holding back on marketing efforts in front of this summer's release of next-gen models.
- The surprise of the month may have been BMW i3 topping the 1K mark during the tough weather period and with lower gas prices in the background.
- YTD EV sales are running slightly ahead of last year's pace.
- Looking ahead: Though EV sales are only a fraction of the total U.S. auto market, repping only ~15% of sales of the Toyota Camry for instance, major bets are being laid out by automakers on research and development. Exponential demand growth in the segment will be needed to make the Model X, Chevrolet Bolt, BMW i3, 2016 Toyota Prius PHV, 2016 Leaf, and other notable entries major successes.
- February EV sales scorecard (units): Nissan Leaf 1,198, Model S 1,150 (estimated), BMW i3 1,089, Chevrolet Volt 693, Toyota Prius PHV 397 (plug-in not conventional hybrid), Cadillac ELR 127, Chevrolet Spark 119, BMW 113.
- Related stocks: Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), Toyota (NYSE:TM), BMW (OTCPK:BAMXY), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), General Motors (NYSE:GM).
- Honda (NYSE:HMC) unit sales +5.0% to 105,466 vs. +13.6% to +15.6% forecast.
- Sales in the Honda division were up 4.1% to 92,474, while Acura sales increased 12.5% to 12,992.
- Sales growth by model: Accord -12.2% to 21,616; Civic -2.5% to 21,038; Pilot +82.7% to 12,629; CR-V +7.4% to 22,298; Acura ILX -26.3% to 959; Acura TLX 3,419 (new).
- The strong response to the new Pilot and CR-V helped Honda increase truck sales 12.6% during the month.
- Mercedes-Benz (OTCPK:DDAIF) unit sales +3.1% to 25,749.
- Sales growth by Mercedes class: C-Class +25.8% to 7,072; E-Class -44% to 2,409; S-Class -21% to 1,413; M-Class +1.8% to 3,316; GL-Class +6% to 1,849.
- Sprinter sales rose 17.9% to 1,675.
- Smart sales dropped 51% to 458.
- Pre-owned sales increased 9.6% to 8,847.
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