At around 2.40 p.m., the AEX index was 0.6% lower at 559.5 points. The AMX fell 0.04% to 786 points. The price boards in London (-1.8%), Paris (-1.2%) and Frankfurt (-0.8%) also turned red.
According to Rabobank economist Stefan Koopman, there were better-than-expected German factory orders today, but they did not inspire buying appetite among investors. They were already under the spell of the American jobs report that will be published on Friday.
Analysts expect the number of jobs in the US to grow by 1.5 million last month, but that forecast appears to be too high. A report by pay slip processor ADP showed on Wednesday that only 167,000 jobs had been added in July. “The chance of a negative surprise is greater on Friday than the chance of a positive surprise,” Koopman warned.
The US stock markets are expected to open approximately 0.2% lower this afternoon after a 0.5% to 1.4% higher lock on Wednesday. An hour before stock market trading in New York started, it was announced that weekly unemployment benefit claims in the US have fallen to 1.18 million. Analysts expected 1.4 million aid applications.
Bank of England
The Bank of England reported today that the UK economy will take longer to recover from the corona crisis than previously thought. However, the UK central bank does not want the key interest rate to drop below 0% in the near future. The interest rate will remain at 0.1% for the time being.
“The Bank of England has informed the markets that negative interest rates should not be expected in the coming months, partly because the central bank is concerned with what such a move could mean for commercial banks. The Fed has said more or less the same thing, ”said Rabobank economist Koopman. “This leaves the ECB and the Bank of Japan somewhat alone with their policy of negative interest rates. The view of central bankers on negative interest rates is currently somewhat less positive than in recent years. ”
ING at the top in AEX, Unibail at the bottom
In the AEX arc ING an opening loss of 2% to a price gain of 4.4%. 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.
NN became worth 2.4% more. 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.
Real estate fund Unibail (-3.8%) was the largest drop among the main funds. The stock market heavyweights Prosus (-1.6%) in Shell (-2%) were also at a loss.
Broadcaster Randstad left 0.8%. 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 leads AMX
In the AMX shot Fagron Up 3.3%. 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 (+ 2.7%) 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 (-0.8%) this week had a visit from bailiffs who, on behalf of the intended buyer EssilorLuxottica, came to secure information on the servers of the parent group of the optical chains Pearle and Eye Wish. 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.
Pottery for Hunter Douglas and Ctac
Fell on the local market Hunter Douglas 3.8%. 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 (-6,9%) 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 was unchanged.
Coca-Cola European Partners (+ 0.3%) made a three-quarter lower profit in the first half year 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.