Stock market up
The SBI TOP index of blue chips on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange closed 0.97% higher at 811.66 points on Monday.
Ljubljana airport welcomes record number of passengers
The Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport recorded 1,812,411 passengers last year, which is 7.7% more than in 2017 and a new record. Planes transported 0.4% more cargo or 12,378 tonnes, the airport manager Fraport Slovenija said on Monday.
Stocks post back-to-back losses for the first time this year on earnings worries; European stocks fall on weak Chinese data; Pandora shares down 6%
Stocks fell on Monday as the U.S. corporate earnings season kicked off. Concerns over an economic slowdown in China also dampened sentiment to start off the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back 86.11 points to close at 23,909.84 as Merck and Apple lagged. The S&P 500 fell 0.54 percent to 2,582.61, as the tech, health care and utilities sectors underperformed. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.9 percent to 6,905.92. Monday also marked the first time in 2019 that the major averages posted two straight losses. Corporate profits grew massively in the first three quarters of last year, expanding by at least 25 percent in those time periods. S&P 500 earnings are expected to have grown by 12.6 percent in the fourth quarter. The calendar fourth-quarter earnings season kicked off on Monday, with Citigroup reporting stronger-than-expected earnings. However, the bank also said its fixed-income trading revenue fell 21 percent. Investors were also worried after fresh data out on Monday showed December exports and imports dropping unexpectedly in China. These figures deepened concerns of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. European markets were lower Monday afternoon, after a shock contraction in Chinese exports heightened fears of a slowdown in global growth. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.6 percent during lunchtime deals, with almost all sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Looking at individual stocks, Denmark’s Pandora slumped toward the bottom of the European benchmark, after Morgan Stanley slashed its price target for the company. The Copenhagen-listed stock slipped 6 percent. Elsewhere, Britain’s Burberry was trading in positive territory after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its stock recommendation to “neutral” from “underperform.” Shares of the luxury stock rose nearly 1 percent on the news.
Citigroup shares rise after beating quarterly profit expectations on cost-cutting
Citigroup, the first of the big U.S. banks to report fourth-quarter results, missed revenue estimates by a half-billion dollars as bond trading revenue declined amid a difficult December for markets. The bank made $1.61 per share in profit, excluding one-time impacts of the U.S. tax overhaul, beating analysts’ expectations for $1.55 on better-than-expected cuts in expenses and loan losses.
Agreement on rail transport worth EUR 230 million to be signed with Russia
Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic said that Serbia would sign an agreement on rail transport worth EUR 230 million with Russia on January 17, during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agreement pertains to the works on the Stara Pazova-Novi Sad railway section, the construction of a single dispatch center for rail traffic control and the continuation of the rehabilitation of the Bar railway from Valjevo to Uzice.
NBS: FX reserves in December at 11.2bn
Based on preliminary data, gross NBS FX reserves amounted to EUR 11.2bn at end-December, covering 168% of money supply (M1) or more than five months’ worth of the country’s imports of goods and services (almost twice the level prescribed by the standard on the adequate level of coverage of the imports of goods and services by FX reserves). FX reserves declined in December by EUR 364.7 mn in gross and by EUR 867 mn in net terms, driven mainly by the significant reduction of government FX liabilities in both domestic and international market (EUR 1,016.9 mn in total) that reflected good fiscal performance in 2018. The outflows pertained to the settlement of liabilities under FX securities in the domestic market (EUR 73.7 mn), net repayment of FX loans (EUR 37.4 mn), and the maturing of the dollar-denominated Serbia 2018 Eurobond (EUR 905.8 mn).
Purchasing power in Serbia slowly growing
In the beginning of 2019, Serbian citizens could expect a slight rise in the living standard of about 4 percent – economists say. Although, there is an employment ban in force in the public sector, the private sector will experience the opposite, i.e. a boost in the number of employees. Experts also believe that banks will have no justification to increase their interest rates in the coming year, and, as long as mortgage loans remain favourable, the prices of real estate in Serbia will not decrease.
Source: Serbian monitor