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SHARE PRICES AND MARKET ANALYSIS

A snapshot of motorcycle and ATV industry share performance across key manufacturers and major global markets at the trading week closure on Friday 15 March 2024. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

USA — GROWING INFLATION SHOCK

In what proved to be a suddenly traumatic week, America’s Federal Reserve central bank admitted on Tuesday that US consumer price inflation had risen for a second consecutive month in February, now back up to 3.2% from 3.1% in January. Initially, investors tried to ignore this embarrassing news, having grown used to the idea that serial interest rate cuts were imminent throughout 2024, and trading remained positive for a while.

But their confidence soon began to crumble and all major Wall Street market indices had turned negative on a weekly basis by Friday’s NYSE closing bell. Both blue-chip S&P 500 stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid into 0.1% arrears, S&P’s MidCap 400 incurred a 1% loss and the NASDAQ Composite finished 0.7% down.

Anomalies abounded. Among the powersports firmament followed here, Harley-Davidson shares continued to maintain significant impetus for a second week on the trot, despite this latest inflationary scare. But Harley’s increasingly dubious electric motorcycle spin-off LiveWire endured a fifth week of uninterrupted punishment, having now lost more than 40% of its value over that timeframe. Time to abandon plugged-in delusions?

Currency: dollarPriceWeekMonth
Harley-Davidson41.00+6.6%+8.3%
Polaris Industries91.86-0.9%-0.2%
Textron92.91+0.8%+8.4%
Ideanomics

(Energica)

1.05-0.9%N/A
Niu Technologies1.78+2.9%-7.8%
LiveWire6.08-25.8%-42.3%

 

EUROPE — BAD NEWS IS GOOD NEWS

Responding to the return of inflationary woes in the USA, eurozone traders began to revise their own bets on when the European Central Bank would start to cut interest rates towards the weekend. But pressures in that direction upon markets on our side of the Atlantic were still essentially mild.

A much greater influence came from the mounting threat to Russian oil refineries engendered by some exceedingly successful Ukrainian drone and missile strikes, deep within the heart of Vladimir Putin’s home turf. Speculative rising oil prices promptly helped energy-heavy European indices gain ground. So Frankfurt’s Dax Xetra edged 0.7% higher and the FTSE MIB in Milan rose by 1.6%.

Such moves were pretty irrelevant to Teutonic automotives and associated motorcycling enterprises, though. BMW and Volkswagen share prices fell in the face of growing input from cut-price Chinese electric cars scuppering sales of their own premium EV offerings. And in Austria, KTM parent Pierer Mobility’s stock value continued a downwards drift based on profit warnings for the company’s 2024 financial year.

Currency: euroPriceWeekMonth
BMW105.68-1.4%+1.8%
Volkswagen131.90-1.8%-2.8%
Pierer Mobility45.50-2.4%-7.1%
Piaggio Group2.84+1.1%-10.1%

 

JAPAN — THORNY INTEREST RATE DEBATE

Tokyo and Osaka’s Nikkei 225 index fell by a firm 2.5% as senior Bank of Japan policymakers argued about the practicalities of how to raise interest rates out of negativity for the first time since 2006 — without causing turmoil for global markets and Japanese lenders.

Quite how the end of this unprecedented “cheap money” era will impact on indigenous industrial giants and exporters is perplexing the BoJ mightily. And equities investors, clearly including those sitting on stock in the “big four” biker-oriented businesses, have got their knickers in a twist over potentially deleterious consequences.

Currency: yenPriceWeekMonth
Honda1782.5+1%+1.7%
Yamaha1330-0.1%-3.5%
Suzuki6160-1.7%-8.3%
Kawasaki4643-3.9%+22.6%

 

INDIA — RIDING A ROCKY ROAD

With the world’s biggest General Election dates now announced for a kick-off in April, against a background of angrily protesting farmers, conflict between the Hindu nationalist majority versus a large aggrieved Moslem minority, and widespread political corruption, Indian business life is going to be beset by strife for several months. Although vote-rigging by the ruling BJP doesn’t really leave much doubt about the election outcome. A decision by India’s central bank to maintain an inflation-busting 6.5% interest rate, until voting is over and votes counted, hasn’t contributed to calm.

This fractious mood is already reflected in nerves among India’s millions of small-fry “retail” investors, displaying weaker confidence in equities pay-dirt. Mumbai’s two stock market indices, the S&P BSE Sensex 30 and NSE Nifty 50, both fell in the past week, respectively 2% and 2.1% lower. Shares in all five major indigenous motorcycle manufacturers declined in value, to greater or lesser extents.

Currency: rupeePriceWeekMonth
Hero MotoCorp4585.30-1.5%-6.3%
Bajaj Auto8350.70-6%+0.3%
TVS Motor2066.45-8.6%-3.4%
Eicher Motors3745.65-1%-4.7%
Mahindra1799.50-5.2%-2%

 

CHINA — THE EAST IS RED AGAIN, OF COURSE

The rubber-stamp Chinese National People’s Congress concluded with President Xi Jinping elected for yet another term. And announcement of another huge raft of economic stimulus measures were cheered by assembled Communist Party members.

No doubt hoping that they’ll lead to some revival of commercial fortunes, investor activity eased market indices modestly upwards. Shanghai’s SSE Composite added 0.3% and the Shanghai/Shenzhen blue-chip CSI 300 put on 0.7%.

Recovery for shares in almost all listed motorcycle manufacturers was evident on a weekly basis. And the majority have now managed to claw back much of their losses from a massive market crash just prior to the Lunar New Year holiday. However, judicious covert share-purchase programmes run by government agencies, rather than brighter prospects, have been allegedly responsible for a lot of the largesse.

Currency: yuanPriceWeekMonth
Qianjiang13.55+5.9%+24.7%
Zongshen6.51+9.9%+17.5%
Sundiro2.82+24.8%+38.9%
CETC (Jialing)12.76+1.8%+10.2%
Lifan3.30+5.4%+7.1%
Loncin5.84+10.4%+27.8%
Linhai8.01+5.4%+21.9%
Guangzhou Auto8.87+2.9%+2.8%
CFMoto112.21-5.4%+15.5%
Xinri E-Vehicle10.77+8%+31.2%

 

 

 

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