Brussels probably starts slightly higher after the long Easter weekend – April 2, 2024 at 8:03 am

Brussels probably starts slightly higher after the long Easter weekend – April 2, 2024 at 8:03 am
Brussels probably starts slightly higher after the long Easter weekend – April 2, 2024 at 8:03 am

(ABM FN) The Brussels stock exchange is expected to start slightly higher on Tuesday. Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 index were in the green about an hour before the stock market bell.

At a close of 3,845.63 points on Thursday, the Bel20 gained 1.1 percent on a weekly basis last week and the index thus closed the first quarter with a price gain of almost four percent.

Wall Street started the month of April on Monday evening with a small loss for the main indicator S&P 500. In the first quarter, the S&P gained almost 10 percent.

The losses on Monday were a reaction to the latest inflation figures and purchasing data and especially the actions of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who is clearly in no hurry to cut interest rates.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note showed a notable move on Monday, rising more than 12 basis points to a yield of 4.33 percent.

The so-called PCE index for core inflation, an important indicator of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, was 2.8 percent on an annual basis in February, compared to 2.9 percent in January, it emerged on Friday, when Wall Street was closed.

An inflation rate of 2.8 percent was initially reported for January, but this figure was revised slightly upwards. Economists had expected core inflation of 2.8 percent for February. The general price index came to 2.5 percent. In January this was 2.4 percent. Economists also expected an increase of up to 2.5 percent.

Fed Chairman Powell said in San Francisco on Friday that the inflation figures were not surprising. He reiterated that the Fed is sticking to its data-driven approach and that given the US economic resilience, there is no need for the central bank to rush into a cycle of rate cuts. According to Powell, the Fed can wait for more evidence that inflation is falling to the desired target.

Asia and oil

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was 2.2 percent higher this morning, while the stock markets in Seoul, Tokyo, Sydney and Shanghai barely moved.

Investors in Hong Kong received a boost from Xiaomi after the manufacturer of smartphones, among other things, launched its first electric car, which will only be available in China for the time being.

Investors especially have high expectations of the integration of many smartphone functionalities in the car. Competitor Apple last month pulled the plug on its long-term project to develop electric cars.

Xiaomi shares gained 12 percent this morning. Tencent and Alibaba rose approximately two and one percent respectively.

US oil futures were 0.5 percent higher this morning at $84.13 per barrel. Oil became almost one percent more expensive on Monday, after the Iranian consulate in Damascus was reportedly hit by an Israeli missile attack.

Investors today are paying attention, among other things, to the release of purchasing managers’ indices for industry in March, which will be released in the eurozone during the morning.

Company news

The intrinsic value of the Sofina holding company fell slightly in 2023, while the net result improved and the dividend was increased. On December 31, the intrinsic value was 273.62 euros per share. That was 279.41 euros per share a year earlier.

UCB starts buying back its own shares today. The buyback program is intended to cover current and future obligations under UCB’s Long Term Incentive plans for its employees. UCB will buy back up to 1.3 million of its own shares.

CFO Jeroen Mouton decided to leave Kinepolis for a new professional challenge. Mouton will remain in his post until April 30. Kinepolis will provide more details about his replacement when a new CFO has been found.

Grid operator Fluxys Belgium achieved a lower profit in 2023 and turnover also fell last year, while the dividend remained stable.

Real estate company Montea is investing in a new climate-friendly distribution center at Blue Gate in Antwerp. This involves a total investment of 20.1 million euros with a net return of approximately 6.5 percent, the company said.

Last year, ABO’s operating income amounted to 85.2 million euros, an annual increase of 20 percent and organic growth of 10 percent. EBITDA improved by 13.1 percent on an annual basis, from 9.9 to almost 11.2 million euros.

Coffee specialist Miko closed 2023 with a record EBITDA of 30 million euros, despite it being a difficult year.

Floridienne achieved higher turnover in 2023, but lower EBITDA due to non-recurring costs. Turnover amounted to 549.3 million euros last financial year, compared to 518.3 million euros in 2022. However, EBITDA fell from 60.4 to 56.0 million euros.

Wall Street closing positions

The S&P 500 index fell 0.2 percent to 5,243.77 points on Monday, the Dow Jones index ended 0.6 percent lower at 39,566.85 points and the Nasdaq index closed 0.1 percent in the green at 16,396.83 points.

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The article is in Dutch

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