Bayer Wins Roundup Trial in Missouri Court
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A Missouri court has ruled in favor of Bayer AG's Monsanto in a trial regarding claims that its Roundup weed-killer causes cancer, the company said late Thursday. "The jury's verdict in favor of the company brings this trial to a successful conclusion and is consistent with the evidence in this case that Roundup does not cause cancer and was not the cause of Mr. Shelton's cancer," Bayer said. The verdict marks the third trial win for Monsanto, which has been dealing with a wave of lawsuits making such claims.
Once again, the Swiss stock market went down on Thursday. Prices followed the other European stock exchanges downwards after the interest rate decision of the European Central Bank (ECB). The SMI lost 1.3 per cent to 11,322 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 16 price losers and three price winners, and one share closed unchanged. 55.86 (previously: 74.9) million shares were traded. Credit Suisse (CS) led the losers by a wide margin at minus 5.6 per cent on renewed high turnover, having benefited on Wednesday from speculation about a possible takeover bid by State Street. However, State Street had declined to comment on this, saying it was currently focusing on other things. And CS CEO Thomas Gottstein described the corresponding report by a financial blog as "really stupid". In the wake of CS, UBS fell 2.8 per cent. Meanwhile, shares of insurers held up better than the market. They benefited from the renewed rise in bond yields. Swiss Life gained 0.2 per cent and Swiss Re 0.1 per cent. Zurich closed little changed.
European equity indices closed sharply lower on Thursday after the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed that it would end its net asset purchases and begin a rate hike cycle from next month. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1.4% to 434.4 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gave up 1.4%. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 dropped 1.7% and the FTSE 100 in London fell 1.5%. The European Central Bank laid out plans to increase interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, joining many of its peers in raising borrowing costs to tackle persistent inflation that is spreading far beyond the U.S. The ECB’s policy shift, about a year after eurozone inflation rose above its 2% target, would help to narrow the gap with the Federal Reserve, which has increased interest rates twice since March to a range between 0.75% and 1%. Kering SA plans to double revenues at fashion house Yves Saint Laurent and at its eyewear division, as the French luxury group looks to reduce its reliance on star brand Gucci. Sales at Yves Saint Laurent would reach €5 billion, equivalent to about $5.4 billion, and eyewear sales would hit €2 billion in the medium term, under plans set out by the company during investor presentations in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday. French prosecutors are investigating disclosure of safety issues at a nuclear-power plant run by EDF SA, the latest setback for the electricity giant as Europe struggles with high energy prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
U.S. stock benchmarks posted their biggest declines in more than three weeks Thursday as investors awaited inflation data that will help determine the pace of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate hikes this year. The S&P 500 closed down 2.4%, or 97.95 points, to 4017.82, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.9%, or 638.11 points, ending the day at 32272.79. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 2.7%, or 332.05 points, to finish at 11754.23. The major indexes notched minor declines for much of the day before falling more significantly in the final hour of trading. Shares of Tesla reversed earlier gains to close down 0.9%, or $6.48, at $719.12. A U.S. auto regulator said it was expanding a probe into crashes of Tesla vehicles and first-responder vehicles at emergency scenes. The electric-vehicle maker is still on pace to extend its rally into a fourth day. Tesla shares have been battered this year, falling 32% through Thursday, as investors dumped shares of growth companies. The stock has also been affected by Chief Executive Elon Musk's plan to purchase Twitter. Shares of Five Below fell about 1.4%, or $1.86, to $133.51 after the discount retailer reported a decline in first-quarter profits as operating costs climbed.
At the end of the week, the East Asian stock markets were down for the most part. One exception to the negative daily trend is the Shanghai Composite, which is up 0.6 per cent. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong recovered most of its initial losses and was only down 0.2 per cent. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell by 1.4 per cent to 27,865 points. Here, the losses in interest rate-sensitive technology stocks were the main factor. Softbank and Lasertec fall by 2.0 and 5.2 per cent respectively.
In the U.S. Treasury market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury advanced to 3.041%, from 3.028% Wednesday. Yields and bond prices move inversely.
HSBC lowers Richemont target to CHF 137 (145) – Buy
JPM lowers BBVA target to EUR 5.80 (6) – Neutral
CS raises Inditex target to EUR 24 (22) – Underperform
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