Stronger-than-expected data on US housing and jobless claims lit a fire under stocks on Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 to a five-year high and its third day of gains. Shares of chipmaker Intel rose in extended-hours trading after the company forecast better-than-expected first-quarter gross margins. Intel gained 1.85% after closing up 2.6% at $22.68. Semiconductor shares rose 2% to the highest close in eight months. A pair of economic reports lifted investor sentiment. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a five-year low last week and housing starts jumped last month to the highest since June 2008.
Nikkei sees longest weekly winning streak since 1987
Japans Nikkei share average surged 2.9% to complete 10 straight weeks of gains, its longest winning streak since 1987, as heightened expectations of central bank easing early next week put further downward pressure on the yen. The Nikkei advanced 303.66 points on Friday as it produced its biggest one-day percentage gain in 22 months. Fridays advance allowed the Nikkei to have a 1% gain for the week. Exporters led the pack, with Toyota Motor Corp adding 2.1%, Honda Motor up 3.2% and Panasonic Corp climbing 5.3%.
Sebi yet to receive all papers in Sahara case
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Friday said it is yet to receive all papers in the high-profile Sahara case where the Supreme Court has directed two group companies to refund money to bondholders. Sebi chairman UK Sinha said it is fully competent to verify the documents related to the case, with regard to checking the genuineness of the bondholders of two Sahara Group companies. Sebi is fully competent to verify. It has got its agencies in place and it will do its task on time, provided all the information papers are given to us.
Sebi imposes R2-lakh fine on Sigrun Holdings MD
Sebi on Friday slapped a fine of R2 lakh on Sigrun Holdings managing director CR Rajesh Nair for not complying with disclosures norms. After taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances of the case, Sebi imposed a penalty of R2 lakh... on the noticee (Nair) which will be commensurate with the violations committed by him." The case relates to a matter way back in 2009-10. A probe conducted by Sebi had found that Nair sold 94,000 shares of Sigrun Holdings (earlier known as Gee Kay Finance and Leasing) at four instances during the period between November 2009 and June 2010. Consequently, there was change in shareholding/voting rights of Nair in the company, for which he was required to make disclosure which he allegedly did not make.
Hero MotoCorp to underperform Sensex
Morgan Stanley said Hero MotoCorps shares will fall relative to the Sensex over the next 60 days on the back of disappointing Q3 earnings. India's largest motorcycle maker missed estimates for the fourth straight quarter as net profit fell 20.4% on rising costs and falling sales that battered margins. The investment bank said it maintained its underweight rating on the stock, while reducing its earnings estimates by 5% for FY13, and 3% for FY14, saying that the decline in Heros margins was more structural than cyclical.