European stocks posted their biggest weekly gain since St Valentine’s Day as concern dissipated that the Ukraine crisis would lead to wide-ranging disruption to trade after a speech from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG rose 12 percent after projecting that pretax profit would climb by at least a high single-digit percentage this year. Legal & General Group PLC slumped 9.6 percent as British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne scrapped rules forcing people to buy annuities with their pension funds.
The STOXX Europe 600 Index rose 1.8 percent to 327.91 this week, paring its decline for the year to 0.1 percent, as Putin used an address to Russian lawmakers to allay concern that he would send troops into eastern Ukraine. The benchmark fell 4.7 percent in the first two weeks of the month, as the newly appointed prime minister of Crimea called a referendum to determine whether the region would leave Ukraine and join Russia.
“The absence of further escalation of the geopolitical crisis in Eastern Europe, and no signs of significant economic sanctions against Russia from Europe or the US fueled a sense of relief in the markets this week,” Witold Bahrke, a senior strategist at PFA Asset Management in Copenhagen, wrote in an e-mail.
Russia annexed Crimea after almost 97 percent of voters in a plebiscite on March 16 backed the region’s secession from Ukraine. The US and the EU imposed sanctions on Russian and Crimean officials, and threatened further measures.
European stocks slid briefly after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that US interest rates could increase six months after the central bank’s monthly bond purchases come to an end.
“The Fed meeting didn’t make more than a small dent, since markets chose to interpret the relative hawkishness as a sign of confidence in the US recovery rather than a potential policy mistake,” Bahrke said.
A gauge of US industrial production released on Monday rose a higher-than-expected 0.6 percent last month, following a revised 0.2 percent decline in January.
Benchmark indices climbed in every Western European market except Denmark and Iceland this week. Germany’s DAX gained 3.2 percent, the UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 rallied 2.8 percent.
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Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s