Caribbean Markets Turn Lower On Oil Supply Uncertainties

Market indexes in Jamaica dropped 0.6% and Jamaican dollar edged lower after international oil prices took another hit in New York and London. Analysts lowered the estimate of oil price in the next six months to $50 a barrel.

Market indexes in Caribbean traded lower on the rising worries that the currencies in the region may take another hit after the lower oil price may impact finances of various governments.

Analysts lowered oil price estimate in the next year to as low as $50 a barrel and that may force PetroCaribe to curtail oil supplies to 13 member nations faster than anticipated.

Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Grenada may be forced to purchase oil in the open market with the U.S. dollar, though at a 40% discount from a year ago price.

In Jamaica trading, The JSE Market Index plunged 480.86 or 0.6% to 74,043.48 and The JSE Select Index fell 18.92 or 0.9% to 2,198.74.

Trinidad Composite Index slid 0.02 to 1,144.78. Bahamas Stock Exchange Index decreased 0.13 to 1,634.19.

Of the 16 stocks traded on Jamaica Stock Exchange, 5 increased, 8 decreased and 3 were unchanged.

Jamaican dollar traded near record low and average buy rate against the U.S. dollar was 113.39 and average sell rate was 113.89 according to the website of Bank of Jamaica.

In Kingston trading today, 1.20 million units changed hands worth J$7.68 million and Radio Jamaica Ltd. led the most active list with 558,009 units followed by Scotia Investments Jamaica Ltd. with 184,817 units.

Mayberry Investments Ltd increased 2 cents to J$1.52 and traded 98,300 and Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited advanced 5 cents to J$9.98 and traded 34,742. Hardware & Lumber climbed 97 cents to J$7.42 and traded 31,000.

Radio Jamaica Ltd. dropped 5 cents to J$1.03 and traded 558,009 and Scotia Investments Jamaica Ltd. slumped J$1.42 to J$21.10 and traded 184,817 and Scotia Group Jamaica slipped 26 cents to J$20.14 and traded 72,402.

Trinidad Market Overview

Trinidad Composite Index slid 0.02 to 1,144.78 and of the 10 stocks traded 2 advanced, 1 declined and 7 closed unchanged.

First Citizens Bank Limited led the most active list and added 1 cent to TT$36.81 and traded 11,335 followed by Ansa Mcal Limited rose 1 cent to TT$66.37 and traded 2,000.

National Enterprises Limited slid 1 cent to TT$17.43 and traded 1,000.

World Market Review

Market indexes on Wall Street and in Europe fell more than 1% after Athens benchmark index plunged more than 13% on Greek political turmoil.

In addition, China tightened lending restrictions and held out for slower growth in the second largest economy in the world.

Over-stretched market indexes in the U.S. and Europe turned lower after China restricted types of collaterals than can be used for collateralized bonds and also demanded banks to reduce lending for these securities.

Chinese government also held out for slower economic expansion and signalling additional economic slowdown as the second largest economy in the world struggles with a surge in debts and bad loans.

Stocks in Shanghai plunged the most in the year after the government’s move.

In the U.S. corporate news, AutoZone net jumped 3% on 8% increase in revenues. Argan net increased 4%. Burlington Stores and H & R Block net loss widened.

Conn”s net swung to a loss. Verizon declined despite positive outlook.

H & R Block Inc (HRB), the tax and banking service provider reported revenues in the second-quarter ending in October edged up 0.7% to $134.6 million form a year ago period.

Net loss in the quarter widened to $112 million or 41 cents a diluted share compared to $104.9 million or 39 cents from a same quarter last year.

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ), the wireless communication service provider forecasted stronger than expected wireless customer growth in the fourth-quarter.

Verizon estimated 9.5% of current post-paid subscriber will upgrade to a new device in the fourth quarter compared to 7.4% in the same period a year ago.

The company reiterated capital spending for 2014 is estimated to be about $17 billion.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index slumped 1.5% or 101.38 to 6,570.77 and in Frankfurt the DAX index dropped 1.6% or 158.62 to 9,856.37.

In Paris, CAC 40 index declined 1.8% or 76.53 to 4,298.95.

In European corporate news, ASOS total group revenues climbed 8% to £252 million. Esure Group agreed to acquire remaining 50% stake of for £95 million.

InterContinental Hotels agreed to sell its Paris-Le Grand hotel for €330 million. Tesco said profit for the year not to exceed £1.4 billion.

ASOS Plc, the U.K.-based online designer apparel retailer said total revenues in the first-quarter ending in November climbed 8% to £252.2 million from £232.7 million a year ago period.

The online retailer said UK retail sales surged 24% to £104.8 million while sales in the European Union fell 1% and international sales slipped 2%. However, the U.S. retail sales climbed 9% to £23.97 million from a year period.

Tesco Plc, the U.K.-based food retailer reported group trading profit for the fiscal year ending in February 2015 will not exceed £1.4 billion compared to £3.3 billion reported for a year ago period.

After the fourth profit alert, chief executive Dave Lewis said “profits would be far lower than expected because of fall-out from a £263 million accounting scandal” that blighted the retailer since last September.

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