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EU markets open higher ahead of EU GDP data

European markets opened higher on Friday morning as the Eurozone awaits the release of its GDP data.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.95%. The DAX was 0.64% higher in early trade on Friday, the CAC 40 gained 0.75% and the FTSE 100 was up by 0.32%.

Economists are hoping that Eurozone GDP data will slow down to 0.2% from the previously reported 0.6%. French GDP reported earlier today amounted to 0.5% vs the expected 0.2%. US GDP data was reported last night and fell at a 0.9% annualised rate last quarter, after a 1.6% contraction in the quarter before that.

EU GDP surged to 8.9%

Eurozone GDP data surged to 8.9%, the highest value yet. Last month, GDP data reached 8.6% as prices continue to surge.

Energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in July of 39.7%, compared with 42.0% in June in the aftermath of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Food, alcohol and tobacco prices have soared by 9.8%, up from 8.9% in June.

Oil sees gains as market awaits OPEC and OPEC+ meetings next week

Oil prices continued to extend gains, lifted by supply concerns as attention turns to the next meeting between OPEC and OPEC+ members which will be held on 3 August.

Brent Crude futures were 2.02% higher and valued at $103.89 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures grew by 2.07% and were valued at $98.42 a barrel.

The group is set to discuss future output and production levels for September and perhaps for the rest of 2022. In June, the group decided to push their production increase to August because demand was stronger than anticipated.

Gold futures higher

Gold futures edged higher on Friday morning, rising by 0.58% and costing $1,760.40/oz.

Silver futures also followed the positive trend, up by 0.75%, platinum futures were 1.59% higher and palladium futures grew by 0.83%.

NatWest profit rises even as threat from inflation mounts

NatWest reported better than expected profit for the first half of the year on Friday morning.

According to the bank, its pre-tax profit was £2.6 billion ($3.17 billion) for the six months to June, up slightly from £2.3 billion the previous year and ahead of the £2.2 billion average of analyst forecasts compiled by the bank.

“We know that continued increases in the cost of living are impacting people, families and businesses across the UK and we have put in place a range of targeted measures to support those who are likely to need it most,” the bank’s CEO, Alison Rose, said.

NatWest (NWG.L) shares are 8.41% higher.

Sony trims profit forecast on weaker gaming outlook

Japan’s Sony Group Corp on Friday cut its annual operating profit forecast by 4% to 1.11 trillion yen ($8.37 billion) as it lowered expectations for its key gaming unit.

Sony also reported a 9.6% rise in first-quarter operating profit, beating analyst estimates, boosted by demand for its movies and television shows. The company also revised down the annual profit forecast for the gaming unit by 16%.

Last year, Sony booked a record 1.2 trillion yen ($9 billion), boosted by demand for its entertaining content.

Sony shares (SONY) were around 1% lower in pre-market sales.

IAG returns to profitability after COVID-19

The British Airways owner, IAG, reported on Friday a return to its profitability for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, following a “significant” increase in capacity.

According to the company, its passenger capacity hit 78% of 2019 levels in the second quarter of the year, driven by demand in Europe and North America. For the third quarter, the company expects its passenger capacity to surge to 80% of 2019 levels.

Operating profit for Q2 amounted to 293 million euros ($299.56 million), compared to an operating loss of 967 million euros in 2021.

“This result supports our outlook for a full year operating profit,” the company’s CEO Luis Gallego said.

IAG shares (IAG) were 0.33% lower on Friday morning.

Apple beats revenue and profit expectations

Apple reported its third quarter fiscal earnings on Thursday that beat expectations for sale and profit but slowed the growth of the tech company.

The company’s revenue amounted to $83 billion vs the expected $82.81 billion – a 2% surge during the quarter, compared to 36% growth during the same period last year and over 8% growth in the March quarter.

Apple did not provide formal guidance for the quarter, analysts expected the company to give fourth-quarter guidance of $1.31 in earnings per share and nearly $90 billion in sales.

“In terms of an outlook in the aggregate, we expect revenue to accelerate in the September quarter despite seeing some pockets of softness,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook told CNBC.

Apple shares (AAPL) are 2.48% higher in pre-market sale.

Amazon saw losses but strong earnings

Amazon posted its second quarterly losses in a row but shares rose on strong earnings.

Amazon sales surged by 7% to $121 billion compared with $113 billion in the same quarter last year. This is one of the slowest growth periods for Amazon in its history but was better than expected.

“Despite continued inflationary pressures in fuel, energy and transportation costs, we’re making progress on the more controllable costs we referenced last quarter, particularly improving the productivity of our fulfillment network,” Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy said.

The company reported a second quarterly loss of $2 billion compared with a $7.8 billion profit for the same period in 2021. A $3.8 billion loss was reported in the previous quarter.

Amazon shares (AMZN) were around 12% higher in pre-market sales.

Intel misses earnings this season

Intel slashed its full-year guidance and turned in worse-than-expected quarterly results.

The company reported a revenue of $15.32 billion vs the expected $17.92 billion. The company’s revenue declined by 22% year-over-year in the quarter ended 2 July. Revenue missed consensus by 14%, the company’s largest top-line disappointment since 1999, Refintiv data showed.

Intel ended the quarter with a $454 million net loss, this compares with net income of $5 billion in the quarter one year ago.

“The sudden and rapid decline in economic activity was the largest driver of the shortfall but Q2 also reflected our own execution issues in areas like product design, and the ramp of AXG [Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group] offerings,” Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger said.

Intel shares (INTC) were 9.14% lower in pre-market trade.

Top cryptocurrencies bullish as BTC stays above $23,000 levels

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to trade above $23,000 levels and is nearing $24,000 territory, boosting sentiment and other cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum (ETH) was 0.37% higher in the past 24 hours. BNB rose by 1.54%, Cardano (ADA) gained 0.59% but Solana (SOL) dipped by 0.16%.

The popular Elon Musk-endorsed memetoken Dogecoin (DOGE) was 0.30% higher.

 

Note, cryptocurrency CFD trading is restricted in the UK for all retail clients.

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