Around 10.30 am the AEX index was 0.4% lower at 560.7 points. The AMX rose 0.1% to 786.7 points. The price signs in London (-1.2%), Paris (-0.4%) and Frankfurt (+ 0.2%) showed a mixed picture.
Elsewhere, the mood in the stock markets was also divided. The Japanese Nikkei index closed 0.4% in the red this morning. The American stock markets ended on Wednesday evening 0.5% to 1.4% higher. Wall Street is expected to open around 0.2% in the plus this afternoon.
An hour before stock exchange trading in New York starts, weekly unemployment benefit applications are announced in the US. Analysts expect the number of claims for unemployment benefits to drop slightly last week to 1.4 million.
The Bank of England reported today that the UK economy will take longer to recover from the corona crisis than previously thought. As a result, the key interest rate with the UK central bank may have to be brought down below zero later. However, such an intervention is not yet necessary. In some respects, economic forecasts are even looking slightly less bad than an earlier forecast in May. In Thursday’s interest rate decision, policymakers at the central bank in London decided to leave their interest rate unchanged at 0.1% for the time being.
NN at the top in AEX, Unibail at the bottom
In the AEX NN the largest riser with a plus of 2.9%. The insurer increased its operating profit in the first half of the year thanks to further cost savings. The company behind Nationale-Nederlanden, just like competitor ASR, will reward its shareholders with an interim dividend and the purchase of its own shares.
ING converted an opening loss of 2% into a price gain of 2.7%. Due to the corona crisis, the bank set aside more than € 1.3 billion in the second quarter for loans that may never be repaid. Partly because of this, net profit has plummeted by more than 79% to € 299 million. The recently appointed CEO Steven van Rijswijk emphasizes that despite the circumstances, the bank saw interest income decline only slightly.
Real estate fund Unibail (-2.3%) was the largest fall among the main funds. The stock market heavyweights Prosus (-1.9%) in Shell (-1.6%) were also at a loss.
Broadcaster Randstad left 0.02%. Industry colleague Adecco was hit hard by the corona crisis in the second quarter. Demand for temporary workers faltered worldwide, which had a significant impact on the company’s financial performance. Adecco emphasized in an explanation that it has seen a “gradual improvement” in its markets in June and July.
Fagron and SBM leaders in AMX
In the AMX shot Fagron 4.2% up. The pharmacy supplier saw sales and profit grow strongly in the first six months of the year. The virus outbreak led to increased demand for the disease-related products from the company. But there was also a lower demand for plannable care, which affected the Compounding Services division, where pharmaceuticals are custom-made from compounding pharmacies.
Maritime oil service provider SBM Offshore (+ 2.6%) increased its profit forecast for the full year. Despite the weak market conditions in the oil and gas industry due to the sharply lower oil price and the impact of the corona crisis, the company managed to reduce its costs through improved operational performance.
GrandVision (-0.6%) this week had a visit from bailiffs who came to secure information on the servers of the parent company of the optical chains Pearle and Eye Wish on behalf of the intended buyer EssilorLuxottica. This step is part of the lawsuit that EssilorLuxottica has filed, because GrandVision would provide too little information about how the company is getting through the corona crisis. GrandVision disagrees.
Hunter Douglas falls after mediocre numbers
Fell on the local market Hunter Douglas 5.5%. The window dresser expects a lower turnover this year due to the corona crisis. This was evident from a trading report for the first half of the year, in which the company was hit hard by the corona crisis. Revenue during the measurement period was nearly $ 1.5 billion, down 18% from the first half last year. Bottom line was a profit of $ 28.5 million, up from more than $ 125 million a year earlier. Hunter Douglas did go into the red in the second quarter. The company recorded a loss of $ 10.1 million for the period. The company is restructuring its activities due to the expected lower turnover.
Automate Ctac (-5,2%) managed to increase sales in the first six months. The company owed this in full to the takeover of a consultancy. Without this incorporation, revenues would have declined slightly due to the impact of the corona crisis on customers. In the first six months of the year, sales increased by 2.7% to € 42.5 million. Ctac recorded a net profit of € 600,000 in the first half of the year. The company broke even a year earlier. Ctac started cleaning up its product offering this year. It will continue in the second half of the year. In it, the company also expects the turnover levels at customers in the Netherlands and Belgium to continue to pick up.
At pottery manufacturer Porceleyne Fles major shareholder John Fentener van Vlissingen leaves as supervisory director. He gives up his place on the supervisory board to his grandson Jean-Paul Honegger. Fentener van Vlissingen saved the manufacturer of Delft blue from destruction in 2003. The Porceleyne Fles share had not yet been traded today.
Coca-Cola European Partners (+ 0.4%) posted a three-quarters lower profit in the first six months than a year earlier. The bottler for Coca-Cola in Europe suffered from lockdowns, as a result of which consumers drank less soft drinks in the catering industry or at events. In the first six months of the year, sales decreased by over 16% to € 4.8 billion. A profit of € 126 million remained under the line. Coca-Cola European Partners saw the situation improve in the course of the first half year. For example, the volume of soft drink packaging delivered in June was only 9% below the level of a year earlier. In July, those volumes are in line with the previous month.