MW Group 2021 Sales Advanced Despite 4Q Setback
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BMW AG said that it sold more cars in 2021 compared with the previous year, helped by strong growth in its BMW brand and its electric-car offering. The German auto maker sold a total of 2.5 million vehicles in 2021, up 8.4% from the year before. Sales at the BMW brand rose 9.1% to 2.2 million units, reaching their highest-ever level. The year-on-year progress was recorded in spite of a decline in the fourth quarter, when group unit sales world-wide fell 14% on year. The company said sales of fully-electric vehicles more than doubled to 103,855 units, and that it will press on with its electrification push. “[We] want to continue profitable growth in 2022 and more than double sales of fully-electric vehicles again,” said Pieter Nota, member of the BMW board of management.
The Swiss stock market ended on Wednesday with slight losses. The SMI fell by 0.3 per cent to 12,670 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 11 price gainers and nine price losers. 32.77 (previously: 39.57) million shares were traded. Corporate news, on the other hand, was thin on the ground. Attention is already focused on the slowly beginning reporting season. The results of the major US banks JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup on Friday will provide a first indication. Financial stocks remained sought after with the prospect of rising interest rates. Shares in Swiss Re, UBS, Swiss Life and CS Group rose by up to 1.4 per cent. Sika shares extended their previous day's gains slightly, rising another 0.1 per cent. The expectation of higher-than-forecast sales for 2021 prompted Stifel analysts to raise their EBIT forecast for 2021/22 by 2 per cent.
European equity indices closed higher on Wednesday, buoyed by statements seen as reassuring by Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell on the pace of US monetary policy tightening, as inflation hit a new record in the US in December. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7% to 486.2 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 rose 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 gained 0.4% while the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.8%. J Sainsbury PLC said Wednesday that like-for-like sales including fuel for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 fell, but upgraded its full-year market expectations on lower costs, market-share growth and higher grocery volumes during Christmas. The U.K. grocer said like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 4.5% in the 16 weeks ended Jan. 8. Like-for-like sales including fuel rose 0.6%, it said. Total grocery sales fell 1.1% in the third quarter, with general merchandise sales declining 16% and clothing sales falling 2.7%. Fuel sales, on the other hand, increased 48% in the period, it said. A.P. Moeller-Maersk said Wednesday that it is accelerating its decarbonization targets, aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions in 2040—a decade ahead of its initial 2050 goal. The Danish shipping company said its new emissions targets are expected to align the company with the net-zero criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative, a nonprofit organization that assesses whether corporate targets align with a global emissions trajectory that would keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
U.S. inflation hit its fastest pace since 1982, but stocks took the news in stride. The S&P 500 gained 0.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2%. Markets have been focused on anything that could shift expectations for the Federal Reserve to begin lifting interest rates as soon as March. U.S. inflation hit its fastest pace in nearly four decades last year as pandemic-related supply and demand imbalances, along with stimulus intended to shore up the economy, pushed prices up at a 7% annual rate. The Labor Department said Wednesday the consumer-price index—which measures what consumers pay for goods and services—rose 7% in December from the same month a year earlier, up from 6.8% in November. That was the fastest since 1982 and marked the third straight month in which inflation exceeded 6%. Apple Inc. may not have triggered the current buzz about the metaverse, but the company is reaping the benefit. Excitement about how the iPhone maker could gain from a broad embrace of digital alternate realities has been a central facet of the rise in its share price in recent months, according to investors and analysts. Most employees of retail-trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc. will be working remotely on a permanent basis amid a spike in Covid-19 cases that has many companies rethinking their return to the office. Using a primarily remote workforce will help Robinhood tap top talent across the U.S. regardless of where they live, the company said in a blog post Wednesday, describing itself as “a remote first company.”
The East Asian stock markets are mainly showing losses on Thursday. The indices consolidated the partly strong gains of the previous day. The Nikkei index is down 0.9 per cent to 28,498 points. Market participants also point to the Corona pandemic as a negative factor. In Shanghai, the index is down 0.8 per cent.
U.S. government bond yields recovered slightly in Asia after they fell Wednesday following the U.S. inflation data. Some analysts said Wednesday's move might have stemmed from investors repositioning after the CPI reading didn't shift expectations for the pace of Federal Reserve interest-rate increases in coming months.
Deutsche Bank raises ABB target to CHF 32 (31) – Hold
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