Orange CEO to appeal against Tapie ruling
Topic of the day
The Paris Court of Appeal sentenced Stéphane Richard on Wednesday to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a €50,000 fine for complicity in fraud and embezzlement of public funds in the "Tapie" affair. Stéphane Richard intends to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, according to a statement sent by the CEO of the telecommunications operator Orange to the Agefi-Dow Jones agency. "The accusations of complicity in the misappropriation of public funds are completely unfounded and not based on any evidence. I totally reject them and will appeal to the Supreme Court," warned Stéphane Richard. "I am putting my mandate in the hands of the Orange board of directors," the executive continued. The Orange board of directors is due to meet on Wednesday afternoon to decide on the future of its CEO, a source close to the matter told the Agefi-Dow Jones agency.
The Swiss stock market ended midweek trading with slight gains. However, the SMI was only able to recover slightly from the significant losses of the previous day. The SMI gained 0.2 per cent to 12,396 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 13 price gainers and 7 price losers. 28.39 (previously: 33.4) million shares were traded. Financial stocks were in particular demand among investors. They benefited from the recent rise in market interest rates. UBS rose by 1.4 per cent, Credit Suisse by 0.8 per cent. Among insurance stocks, Zurich Insurance and Swiss Re each rose by 0.7 per cent. Index heavyweight Nestle slipped 0.4 per cent. Among the pharmaceutical giants, Roche gained 1.1 per cent, while Novartis (-0.6 per cent) fell significantly. Among luxury stocks, Richemont (+1.1%) largely recovered from the previous day's losses.
European equity markets ended Wednesday's session in mixed order, after the release of mixed economic indicators in the United States and before the release of the minutes of the last Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting in the evening. In addition, investors continue to keep a close eye on developments in the health crisis, as the number of new cases of Covid-19 rises sharply in Europe. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.1% to 479.7 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 lost 0.03% each. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 was down 0.4%, while the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.3%. Enel SpA plans to step up investment in renewable energy and infrastructure in the coming years and aims to reach carbon neutrality sooner than previously targeted. Marking its capital markets day Wednesday, the Italian utility said it plans to increase direct investment to 170 billion euros ($191.22 billion) between now and 2030, 6% more than the previous plan. A further EUR40 billion will be invested via third parties, Enel said. United Utilities Group PLC on Wednesday reported a higher pretax profit for the first half of its fiscal year as consumption recovered, and forecast that revenue will rise 2% in the whole year. The FTSE 100 water company, which operates in northwest England, made a pretax profit of 212.7 million pounds ($284.5 million) for the six months ended Sept. 30, up from GBP201.1 million for the first half of fiscal 2021. Its net loss was GBP216.2 million, reflecting significant deferred tax charges. First-half revenue rose 4.2% from a year earlier, when the coronavirus pandemic hurt business consumption, to GBP932.3 million. As a result, underlying operating profit was up 4.5% at GBP332.8 million.
A rally in shares of technology companies pushed stocks higher, as investors shrugged off concerns about elevated inflation. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% in afternoon trading after wobbling throughout the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was about flat. The Nasdaq Composite advanced about 0.4%. U.S. stocks have swung between gains and losses this week as investors have digested a slew of data in a trading week shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday. New figures showed that household spending rose 1.3% in October from a month earlier, while personal income increased 0.5%. Weekly jobless claims, meanwhile, fell sharply to the lowest level in 52 years. Deere & Co.’s quarterly results showed minimal fallout from its recent workers’ strike, as it forecast continued strong sales of farm and construction equipment at higher prices next year. The Moline, Ill.-based manufacturer reported better-than-expected profits for the quarter ended Oct. 31, with equipment sales that were slightly lower than expected. The five-week strike by members of the United Auto Workers union, which began Oct. 14, covered the last two weeks of Deere’s fiscal fourth quarter. Gap tanked Wednesday as analysts cut their price targets on the stock after the retailer missed third-quarter earnings estimates and lowered full-year guidance because of inventory delays and increased shipping costs. The stock was down roughly 23% to $18.19 on Wednesday. Gap (ticker: GPS) reported adjusted earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $3.94 billion, widely missing analysts’ forecasts for earnings of 48 cents on sales of $4.39 billion.
On the whole, the stock markets in East Asia show little movement on Thursday. The Nikkei-225 stands out somewhat, gaining 0.8 per cent to 29,535 points, recovering some of the significant losses from the previous day. In addition, technology stocks are recovering from recent losses. Sony, for example, rises 1.4, Mercari 2.4 and Fanuc 2.5 per cent. In Seoul, the focus is on the Bank of Korea's interest rate decision. As expected, the key interest rate was raised by 25 basis points to 1.00 per cent.
In the US bond market, yields eased somewhat as Corona concerns persisted, after initially rising with the inflation data presented.
IR raises the Elringklinger target to EUR 12.30 (12.10) – Hold
JPM lifts Deliveroo to Overweight (Neutral) – Target 392 (333) p
Dt. Bank raises the Sage target to 570 (520) p – Sell
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