By Swissquote Analysts
Exxon Sues EU Over Windfall Profit Levy
Topic of the day
Exxon Mobil Corp. said it has filed a lawsuit against European Union authorities over the bloc's decision to impose a windfall levy on energy companies' high profits triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The EU approved a plan this past fall to redistribute some energy company profits and revenue in a bid to shield consumers from high energy prices. The plan sought to cap producers' revenue from electricity generated by fuels other than natural gas and demanded that oil-and-gas companies hand over one third or more of money the EU considers to be excess profit. Energy prices in Europe rose sharply earlier this year, stoked by Russia's decision to throttle natural-gas supplies to the continent after its invasion of Ukraine prompted Western countries to impose sweeping sanctions. Natural-gas prices have declined in recent weeks and are now near their level before the war began.
After swinging between gains and losses and moving in a tight range around the flat line, Swiss stocks drifted down in the closing minutes to end modestly lower on Wednesday. Worries about rising interest rates and fears of a global recession weighed on stocks. The benchmark SMI ended with a loss of 26.55 points or 0.24% at 10,812.67. The index touched a low of 10,803.10 and a high of 10,854.90 intraday. Credit Suisse ended nearly 3% down. ABB ended lower by almot 1%. Swisscom drifted down 0.71%, while UBS Group, Swiss Life Holding, Roche Holding and Swiss Re lost 0.4 to 0.6%. Lonza Group, Givaudan, Sonova and Richemont gained 0.5 to 0.7%. In the Mid Price index, Zur Rose ended 4.47% down. Adecco and AMS lost 1.29% and 1.1%, respectively. Lindt & Spruengli, Baloise Holding, Schindler Holding and Julius Baer posted moderate losses. Galenica Sante surged 0.73%. Straumann Holding ended 0.34% up. SGS and Tecan Group edged up marginally.
European stocks closed broadly lower on Wednesday with investors weighing the near term prospects for the markets amid high borrowing costs and slowing growth, and largely staying reluctant to make purchases. A lack of positive triggers too contributed to the cautious undertone in the markets. After China announced the re-opening of borders in a major shift of its epidemic response policies, several countries have announced safety measures like testing and medical scrutiny of passengers, coming from China and other countries where the virus is prevalent. The pan European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.13%. Germany's DAX ended 0.5% down and France's CAC 40 shed 0.61%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.32%. Switzerland's SMI drifted down 0.24%. Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Turkiye ended weak. Poland closed higher, while Czech Republic, Greece and Spain ended flat. In the UK market, Scottish Mortgage declined 4.4%. Airtel Africa, IAG, Tesco, Flutter Entertainment, GSK, Frasers Group, Coca-Cola HBC and Shell lost 0.7 to 1.6%. Antofagasta rallied 2.75%. Fresnillo, JD Sports Fashion, Kingfisher, Persimmon, Burberry Group, HSBC, Experian, BAE Systems, Halma and 3I Group gained 1.2 to 2.2%. In Paris, Alstom, Publicis Groupe, Engie, ArcelorMittal, Bouygues, WorldLine, STMicroElectronics, Essilor, Carrefour and Safran lost 1 to 1.4%. In the German market, Infineon Technologies ended lower by about 1.7%. Daimler, HeidelbergCement, Henkel, Porsche Automobil, Linde, Siemens and Deutsche Bank also ended notably lower.
U.S. stock indexes pulled back Wednesday as investors assessed the global-growth implications of China's easing of Covid-19 restrictions. The S&P 500 closed down 46.03 points, or 1.2%, at 3783.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 365.85 points, or 1.1%, at 32875.71. The Nasdaq Composite ticked down 139.94, or 1.4%, to 10213.29. All three averages traded in positive territory earlier in the session. The U.S. stock market is in the middle of an end-of-year period when stocks tend to perform well. During the last five trading sessions of the year and first two of the new year, stocks often notch what is known as a Santa Claus rally. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has traded higher 78% of the time during this period for an average gain of 1.3%, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Tesla shares gained $3.61, or 3.3%, to $112.71, recovering some ground after enduring a selloff Tuesday. The electric-vehicle maker's stock is down 68% in 2022, on track for its worst year ever. Southwest Airlines shares fell $1.75, or 5.2%, to $32.19, as fallout continued from its holiday-storm meltdown. On Tuesday, Southwest canceled 65% of its scheduled departures, according to data from FlightAware. In energy markets, Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, eased $1.07 per barrel, or 1.3%, to $83.26, as investors weighed the outlook for China's reopening against climbing Covid-19 cases in the country. Investors are also assessing the effects of Russia's ban on Tuesday of its oil and petroleum products to countries that put a cap on their sales price. Shares of energy companies fell as oil prices pulled back. The S&P 500 energy sector lost 2.2%, the worst-performing segment of the index on Wednesday.
Negative signs dominate the stock markets in East Asia and Australia on Thursday, after Wall Street fell more sharply on Wednesday. While the average price losses in Shanghai are moderate at 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong is down 1.0 per cent. The Nikkei 225 index loses 1.1 per cent in Tokyo. In Seoul, the Kospi is down 1.4 per cent ahead of the long holiday weekend. The stock exchange there remains closed on Friday. On the Australian stock market, the S&P/ASX-200 falls by 0.9 per cent.
U.S. bond yields moved higher. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 3.886%, from 3.857%, on Tuesday.
DZ Bank lowers Cropenergies target to EUR 16.30 (16.50) – Buy
HAIB lowers Synbiotic target to EUR 44 (75) – Buy
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