The Amsterdam Stock Exchange continued to rise on Thursday on one of the last busy days of the annual numbers season. The mood in the global stock markets has improved considerably thanks to the reassuring words of US Central Bank President Jerome Powell. Powell eased concerns about rising inflation and reassured investors that interest rates will remain low for a long time to come.
The AEX index at Beursplein 5 was 0.7 percent higher in the morning trade at 669.04 points. The MidKap won 1.1 percent to 996.62 points. The stock exchanges in Frankfurt, Paris and London climbed to 0.6 percent.
Wolters Kluwer (plus 3.6 percent) showed recovery and took the lead in the AEX. The information provider lost more than 6 percent a day earlier after disappointing results. Chip company Asmi, which comes after the closing bell with numbers, climbed 1.7 percent. Food company Unilever closed the line with a loss of 0.5 percent and beer brewer Heineken dropped 0.3 percent, after disappointing results from competitor AB InBev.
AB InBev dropped 5 percent in Brussels. The largest beer brewer in the world has felt the coronacrisis quite well in its results. Due to the lockdowns and closure of the catering industry, the company saw sales volumes fall, as well as sales and profits. The owner of beer brands such as Jupiler, Leffe, Stella Artois and Hoegaarden expects that this year there will be a recovery, although the virus outbreak continues to cause uncertainty.
Among the medium-sized companies, the results of fertilizer producer OCI (plus 2.1 percent) were appreciated by investors. SBM Offshore climbed 1.6 percent. The maritime service provider has signed a declaration of intent for a major contract with the Brazilian oil company Petrobras. Aalberts won 1.1 percent. The industrial supplier recorded less profit in 2020, but saw improvements in the second half of the year.
AMG made an 8.5 percent jump in the smaller companies. The metal specialist continued to feel the impact of the coronavirus crisis in the fourth quarter, but performed better than expected thanks to cost savings. In Frankfurt, Bayer lost 1.9 percent. The German chemicals group suffered a loss of 10.5 billion euros in 2020. The mega loss is the result of the billion-dollar settlement for US claims on weedkiller Roundup, which is said to be carcinogenic.
The euro was worth $ 1.2195, compared to $ 1.2136 a day earlier. The price of a barrel of American oil climbed 0.7 percent to $ 63.63. Brent oil cost 0.8 percent more at $ 67.54 a barrel.
Maurice Esma, a co-founder of EconomicInform is a freelance journalist with the expertise in international finance and corporate rights. The author can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org