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By Swissquote Analysts
Published on 30.03.2022
Morning news

UBS to Launch New $6 Bln Share-Buyback Program

Topic of the day

UBS AG said Wednesday that it would launch a new share-buyback program of up to $6 billion. The Swiss bank said the repurchase program would start on Thursday and last two years. A previous program launched in February 2021 concluded on Tuesday with a volume of CHF3.81 billion ($4.09 billion), UBS said. The company said it expects to complete $5 billion of new repurchases under the now concluded 2021 and the new 2022 programs by the end of this year. The announcement is viewed positively on the market. "This is more than the previous program and shows confidence in the development of the capital markets," says a trader in the morning.

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Swiss stocks

The Swiss stock market rose sharply on Tuesday. Buyers were encouraged by reports of progress in the talks between the warring parties Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul. The SMI gained 1.4 per cent to 12,326 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 18 price gainers and two price losers. 47.52 (previously: 40.71) million shares were traded. The SMI was led by Richemont, which rose by 6.9 per cent. Luxury goods stocks rose across Europe after suffering particularly from the Ukraine war and sanctions. Swatch advanced 5.7 per cent. Banking stocks were also in demand, benefiting from hopes of an agreement between Ukraine and Russia. In addition, the upcoming restrictive monetary policy of the central banks boosted the stocks, said an analyst. Credit Suisse rose 3.7 per cent and UBS 2.8 per cent. The market was held back by the three defensive heavyweights, which lagged far behind the overall market. Nestle gained 0.5 per cent, Novartis 0.4 per cent and Roche lost 0.3 per cent.

International markets


European equity markets rose sharply on Tuesday, buoyed by encouraging comments from Russian and Ukrainian negotiators following talks in Istanbul. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 1.7% to 462.1 points. The CAC 40 and SBF 120 gained 3.1% each. The DAX 40 in Frankfurt rose 2.8% and the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.9%. SSE PLC on Tuesday raised earnings guidance for fiscal 2022, as renewable electricity production benefited from better weather conditions in the fourth quarter. The U.K. energy group, which owns power-generation plants and networks, forecast adjusted earnings per share of between 92 pence and 97 pence ($1.20-$1.27) for the year ending March 31. Previously, in February, SSE had said that adjusted EPS would be at least 90 pence. German energy group E.ON SE and Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest are teaming up to produce green hydrogen to replace Russian gas, showing how the Western push to cut reliance on Russian energy imports in the wake of the Ukraine war is accelerating investments in renewable energy. The goal is to produce hydrogen in Australia using wind and solar power and begin shipping it to Europe, where it would be distributed through E.ON’s pipelines. Deliveries would begin in 2024 and build up to a volume of 5 million tons of hydrogen a year by 2030.

United States

Stocks rose as U.S. indexes moved closer to finishing a month in the green for the first time this year. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index led the major indexes, closing higher by 1.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added nearly 1% while the S&P 500 rose more than 1.2%. Investors were monitoring peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, which resumed in Istanbul for the first time in two weeks. Ukraine has in recent days signaled an openness to a neutral status as part of a peace deal with Russia. The talks, which concluded for the day, were described by both sides as constructive. "Today, Ukraine looks better, and buyers are back," said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners, of stock markets. "Whether it's true or not, investors are going with what they see in the headlines." UnitedHealth Group Inc. has agreed to buy LHC Group Inc. for about $5.4 billion in cash, in the latest tie-up linking a managed-care company to the home-health business. The acquisition by UnitedHealth’s Optum health-services arm, which was announced Tuesday, will add one of the country’s largest home-health firms to a portfolio that already includes doctor groups, clinics and surgery centers, as well as some home-based services. Lululemon Athletica Inc. posted higher revenue and profit for the fourth quarter, becoming one of the few direct-to-consumer brands to find growth amid rampant supply-chain challenges and the emergence of the Omicron variant. The athleisure company on Tuesday reported net revenues of $2.1 billion in the quarter ended Jan. 30, up 23% from the previous year. Sales at stores open for the previous 12 months rose 32%. Net income grew to $434.5 million, or $3.36 a share, beating analysts’ expectations of $3.27 a share.


On Wednesday, most stock exchanges in the East Asia region and in Australia continue to move upwards. While the Chinese stock exchanges are up by up to 1.3 per cent and Sydney (+0.6 per cent) records its seventh consecutive day of gains, the trend on the Tokyo stock exchange is weak. The Nikkei index loses 1.3 per cent to 27,893 points.


Longer dated Treasury yields continued to fall in Asian trade. This followed Tuesday's retreat, resulting in the 2-year yield intermittently trading above the 10-year, sending the spread between briefly below zero, as investors factored in the likelihood of aggressive Fed rate rises and a more pessimistic economic outlook.


JPM raises Telefonica target to EUR 4.30 (3.70) – Underweight

JPM cuts Barclays to Neutral (Overweight) – Target 170 (220) p

CS raises Relx target to 2,650 (2,600) p – Outperform

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