Rolls-Royce share price: Engine maker signs Azul as new customer

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, April 23: Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (LON:RR) has signed Azul Brazilian Airlines as a new customer, the UK company has said. The FTSE 100 engine maker has also secured a $400 million (£238 million) services agreement with the airline.

Rolls-Royce share price has shed just under two percent in London so far today.

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NZD/USD Holds 0.8550 Support- Need Hawkish RBNZ for Higher High

The NZD/USD appears to be carving a higher low as it holds above the 0.8550 region, but we will need a hawkish RBNZ policy statement to see a higher high.

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It’s spring time

TODAY’S batch of business surveys paint a reassuring picture of the euro-zone recovery. Though better than nothing this was pretty sluggish last year, starting with growth of just 0.3% in the second quarter, which slipped to 0.1% in the third and 0.2% in the fourth; annualised, these rates were 1.3%, 0.6% and 0.9%. But the upturn seems to have gained momentum in early 2014, with Germany in particular having made a strong start to the year.

Today’s reports from Markit, a research outfit, suggest that growth may pick up even more in the second quarter, with output off to a brisk start in April. An index covering both manufacturing output and business activity in the services sector rose from 53.1 in March to 54 in April, the highest since May 2011. The jump was unexpected: the markets had anticipated a similar performance to that of March. A level above 50 indicates expansion; one below 50 indicates contraction.

The upturn in activity was led by Germany, whose own composite output index of services and manufacturing jumped from 54.3 in March to 56.3, the second-highest in nearly three years. Both services and manufacturing shared in the upswing and the outlook appears promising with business optimism high as consumer confidence picks up and foreign demand rises. By contrast, France seems to be stuck in a rut, with its overall index of output in services…Continue reading

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Microsoft share price: Company to complete acquisition of Nokia handset unit this week

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, April 23: Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) will complete its acquisition of Nokia’s handset unit on Friday, the Redmond-based company announced in a blog post earlier this week.

The announcement heralds the end of an eight-month period during which the companies have been seeking approvals for the transaction from various regulators across the globe. Earlier this month a major hurdle was cleared after China’s Ministry of Commerce gave its blessing to the €5.4 billion deal (Microsoft share price: Acquisition of Nokia handset unit gets Chinese approval).

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Gold price rebounds from two-and-half-month low

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday 23 April:

The gold price yesterday fell to a two-and-a-half-month low of $1276.42 an ounce, slipping marginally below the low on 1 April at $1277.57. However, the precious metal failed to close the day below the 100-day Simple Moving Average, which is currently in the vicinity of $1280. The price action has been mainly sideways so far today.

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Wolseley share price: Company announces non-executive director appointment

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, April 23: Wolseley (LON:WOS) has appointed Darren Shapland to its board as a non-executive director.

The heating and plumbing products supplier, which operates the Plumb Center and Ferguson chains in the US and Britain, said in a statement today that Shapland, will also become a member of the Audit, Remuneration and Nominations Committees of the board upon the appointment, which will take effect on May 1.

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Reed Elsevier share price: First -quarter performance largely in line with 2013

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, April 23: Reed Elsevier Plc (LON:REL) today issued its interim management statement for the first quarter of the year, in which it reiterated its forecast for another year of underlying revenue and earnings growth. The information provider also reported that its underlying revenue growth rates for the period were in line with those announced for the full year 2013.

In today’s trading Reed Elsevier shares fell 0.7 percent to 878.50p as of 11:16 BST.

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FTSE 100 watch: Footsie retreats on downbeat China PMI

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, April 23: The UK benchmark index has inched lower, giving up earlier gains with investors reacting to figures showing that manufacturing in China contracted for a fourth consecutive month.

Among individual stocks, shares in Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) have jumped today after the group reported first-half profit growth at its Primark division and unveiled plans to launch the budget fashion retail chain in the US.

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Goldman removes Akzo Nobel shares from pan Europe conviction sell list

What happened Akzo reported a weak set of 1Q results, 8% below our expectations on a pre-restructuring basis. The disappointment largely came in the Decorative Paint segment, where clean EBIT fell 22% yoy. On the results call management indicated that low volume growth in Deco (+1% vs. our expected +6%) was in part due to share losses in continental Europe and stated that although growth in Asia will likely remain far above levels in DM, it may be a ‘rocky road’. The result in the Specialty Chemicals segment surprised to the upside, in part due to improving demand trends in Europe but also, in our view, due to delivery on cost-cutting efforts.

Current view We cut our EBIT forecasts for 2014/15E by -1%/-5% as we factor in lower Decorative Paints margins, where the transaction effect of weak EM FX is having an unexpectedly large impact. Lower DD&A and a lower corporate line limit the impact at net income. Our EBIT forecasts are 3%/12% below Vara consensus in 2014/15. We revise down our 12-month target price to €49.5 from €50.5, reflecting our lower earnings forecasts (we base our target on 8.0x 2015 EV/EBITDA). On our forecasts, Akzo trades at a 14%/14% premium to peers on 2014/15 EV/EBITDA. Although we still see downside to the shares, we see more limited sector-relative downside and therefore remove the shares from the Conviction List.

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Akzo Nobel share price: Company posts solid Q1 underlying earnings

Akzo 1Q14 EPS — was slightly ahead of consensus noting weaker than expected Decorative and Performance Coatings results but a strong improvement by Specialty Chemicals and lower than expected financing costs. Sales were down 2%, noting FX impacted group sales by 5%. Overall results were slightly better than expectations. See our results comment (1Q14 EPS beat due to Specialty Chemicals & Financing) for more details. The point to note is that in the paint businesses higher dollar-price raw materials could not be offset by increased local selling prices. Whereas for chemicals, lower dollar based raw material costs helped margins in Euro-zone-centric division. Andrew Benson

The Wettest Drought on Record — Despite Supposed Industry Austerity, European OFS set for Record Order Intake in 1H Western Europe | Oil & Gas Equipment & Services Financial austerity has been a dominant message from IOCs over the last six months, and the equity market has looked to pre-empt the impact of ‘financial discipline’ in an expected slowdown in oil services activity (Euro Services have underperformed the market by 15% over the last six months). But what signs of softening activity? Order intake year-to-date for the Services industry suggests 1H14 will be a record.

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