Stocks rise slightly, but trade and economy worries persist; European markets close higher; Axel Springer leaps on KKR investment talks
Stocks rose on Thursday, regaining some of the losses from the previous session, but the market’s gains were kept in check as worries over the global economy and trade lingered.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 43.47 points higher at 25,169.88, led by McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. The S&P 500 climbed 0.2% to 2,788.86 as the real estate and tech sectors outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.3% to 7,567.72. The major indexes had closed lower on Wednesday, with the Dow losing more than 200 points.
Shares of software company Keysight Technologies led the tech sector higher, rising 11.3% on stronger-than-expected earnings.
In economic news, the second read on first-quarter U.S. GDP showed the economy expanded by 3.1% on an annualized basis. The 3.1% print topped a Dow Jones estimate of 3%.
European markets recovered steadily Thursday but remained on course for the year’s biggest monthly decline amid persistent escalations of the U.S.-China trade war.
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 finished provisionally up by 0.6% in afternoon trade, led by media stocks with a climb of 1.8%, although autos lost ground on average. The FTSE 100 ended up 0.5% higher, while markets in France and Germany made similar gains.
In terms of individual stocks, German publisher Axel Springer soared 22% after it revealed talks were underway with private equity house KKR over a potential strategic investment.
MTLC: Metalac reported slightly higher consolidated sales and 7% lower net profit, for 2018
Metalac (MTLC), kitchenware manufacturer reported its FY 20187 consolidated numbers. The company’s sales were higher by 5.9% in 2018, which is in line with the company’s expectations. Most of improvement arrived on the back of slightly higher export of own products and sales of tradable goods on Serbian market. Net profit for the period, arrived at RSD 452m, down 7% y/y, mainly on slightly reduced operating profit and worse other&financial result. The company expects low single digit growth in sales for FY 2019, implying similar or only slightly better net result as in 2018.
Source: Belex, Ilirika
EC: Strong investment activity supports growth of Serbian economy
Serbia has made some economic progress and is moderately prepared in developing a functioning market economy and economic growth has accelerated, the European Commission said in its 2019 Serbia Report. The economy has shifted up a gear. Economic growth accelerated in 2018, to over 4 pct from 2 pct in 2017, boosted by robust domestic demand and base effects. Investment activity, in particular, was very strong, benefitting from a number of factors: the low interest rate environment, higher growth expectations, past improvements in the business environment, increased capital spending by the government, and a stream of foreign direct investments, the report said.
Minimum wage to be increased in September
The Serbian minimum wage will be increased in September and salaries and pensions will also see a major increase in the second half of this year, Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali has announced. "Last year, we raised the minimum labour cost from 145 dinars per hour to 155 dinars per hour, whereby the 27,000 dinar mark was exceeded for the first time. The next increase will be in September and we are working on this together with businesses and unions. We just want this to be on real foundations so that we can have a healthy economy that can handle it," Mali told B92.net in an interview.