Japan’s Response to Stimulus Rich Indeed (CNBC)
Japanese investors gave a resounding vote of confidence to the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) aggressive stimulus plan yesterday, sending the Nikkei 225 up 4.7 percent. The plan features adding $1.4 trillion to the country’s monetary base — effectively doubling it –and purchasing government bonds of all maturities instead of only focusing on three-year bonds. The resultant rise in the Nikkei 225 extended across almost every one of the country’s 33 sub-sectors, and was paced by the real estate, financial and bank sectors. In early trading today, the yen slumped to a 3.5-year low against the dollar, as did the yield of the 10-year Japanese bond — hitting .32 percent. Analysts such as IG Markets Keely Teoh expect the Nikkei’s rise and the yen’s drop to continue during the short-term. This trend is one that investors should keep an eye on for which direction to play the trade.
European Markets Underwhelmed by U.S. Unemployment Report (Bloomberg)
Yesterday’s report from the U.S. government reflected that the number of jobs added to the economy in March trailed analysts’ expectations, yet didn’t change the overall unemployment rate of 7.7 percent. Several major European global indices were sent reeling, led by the Stoxx Europe 600 (down 1.4 percent). In addition, European Union (EU) retail sales fell .3 percent in February, compared to the previous month. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi claims this performance could be around for a while, “Data-wise, things are still going to be very weak within Europe.” Let’s just hope the U.S. unemployment rate doesn’t maintain its current performance during that same time.
Samsung Improves Profits 53% during Annual ‘Slow’ Period (AP)
Recently released Q1 figures show that Samsung Electronics Co. improved operating profit by 53 percent year-over-year. The operating income for the quarter came in at 8.7 trillion won, as opposed to the 2012 figure of 7.7 trillion won. For investors interested in the driving force behind performance, they only need look to the company’s core businesses for the answer. First quarter profit was higher than expected due to increased smartphone and memory chip sales. According to Counterpoint Technology Market Research, Samsung smartphone sales are expected to hit 70 million units during the first three months of the year — compared to an expected 35 million iPhone sales. Full- performance results for each Samsung division will be released later this month. Investor interested in Samsung have a bit of time to grab shares, if desired.