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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 12 April 2024. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

USA — DOOM AND GLOOM

Negative sentiment pretty much pervaded markets everywhere, as the Middle-East conflict escalated and latest US inflation data pushed the prospect of interest rate cuts down the Federal Reserve’s agenda.

Midweek news that unexpectedly strong headline consumer price inflation in America had risen to 3.5% in March, from 3.2% in February — a second consecutive monthly increase — shattered economists’ expectations. So the Fed’s caution, extending 23-year highs for interest rates of up to 5.25% further into the future, will remain in place.

Then reacting to an Israeli air strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria, which killed several Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders, Tehran finally turned a threat of retaliation into concrete action, by launching a huge barrage of suicide drones and ballistic missiles towards Israel.

Fortunately, most of these were damp squibs, easily shot down over Syrian and Iraqi air space by US and UK fighter aircraft operating from America’s deployed carrier fleet and a British base in Cyprus. The rest were tidied up by Tel Aviv’s “Iron Dome” anti-missile defence system before they found targets. But the damage to global investor confidence had been done and share prices fell almost everywhere.

New York indices, responding to a renewed inflationary menace, were already on the back foot. Blue-chip S&P 500 stocks closed 1.6% down and S&P’s MidCap 400 fell by a more punitive 3%. MidCap powersports leaders Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle parent Polaris were in receipt of harsher treatment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 2.4% in arrears, while NASDAQ’s Composite got away with a milder 0.5% retreat.

Currency: dollarPriceWeekMonth
Harley-Davidson39.71-5.7%-3.1%
Polaris Industries90.55-6.9%-1.4%
Textron93.96-2.8%+1.1%
Ideanomics

(Energica)

0.89-7.3%-15.2%
Niu Technologies2.20+14.6%+23.6%
LiveWire7.34+8.9%+20.7%

 

EUROPE — DISAPPOINTMENT ON RATES

Middle-Eastern issues and the European Central Bank’s reluctance to come clean on interest rates sucked the life out of eurozone confidence. The ECB kept rates on hold at an all-time high of 4.5%, backed by only vague promises of relaxation should policymakers believe that inflation was aiming at its 2% target in a “sustained manner.”

Key eurozone market indices therefore turned negative. Germany’s Xetra Dax in Frankfurt fell by 1.3% and the Borsa Italiana FTSE MIB in Milan closed 0.7% down. The Wiener Börse ATX escaped on a slight 0.2% decline. Every motorcycle-related listing — across Germany, Austria and Italy — fell in value.

Currency: euroPriceWeekMonth
BMW109.50-2.7%+3.6%
Volkswagen146.10-1.7%+10.8%
Pierer Mobility42.40-3.9%-6.8%
Piaggio Group2.83-1.7%-0.4%

 

JAPAN — HEDGING BETS?

Although the Middle-Eastern situation, and specifically Red Sea shipping disruption, pose a real threat to global exporting nations like Japan, the Japanese remained remarkably sanguine. Osaka and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was unique in closing positive among major market indices, 1.4% up. Imminent full-year results from many of Japan’s leading industrial companies could have been a diversionary influence. With the exception of Yamaha, indigenous biker stocks gained ground.

Currency: yenPriceWeekMonth
Honda1879+2.4%+5.4%
Yamaha1416.5-0.2%+6.5%
Suzuki1835.5+4.5%+19.4%
Kawasaki4777+2.5%+2.9%

 

INDIA — A WEAK WEEK

Indian stock market analysts spent much of the past week finding a selection of excuses for weakening investor activity. India’s impending General Election was just one of them. Mumbai’s trading indices illuminated their confusion. The S&P BSE Sensex 30 put on a marginal 0.1%, while the NSE Nifty 50 absolutely flatlined. Among motorcycle manufacturing majors, only Royal Enfield parent Eicher stood out as a sound investment opportunity.

Currency: rupeePriceWeekMonth
Hero MotoCorp4440.80-1.9%-3.2%
Bajaj Auto9064.85+0.6%+8.6%
TVS Motor2046.85-1.1%-0.9%
Eicher Motors4302.25+6.7%+14.9%
Mahindra2070.95+2.8%+15.1%

 

CHINA — ECONOMIC LESSONS

The Beijing government’s floundering around in search of ways to boost its enfeebled economy is clearly going nowhere. A latest estimate from independent economists has China’s growth in the current year struggling to reach 5% at most — unimaginably pathetic a decade ago. Chinese exports into both the European and US markets are in decline. Domestic Chinese consumption has plunged.

A brief flicker of optimism, reflected in mild market indices positivity in the previous week, petered out. Shanghai’s all-share SSE Composite closed 1.6% down. The blue-chip CSI 300 fell further on a 2.6% loss. Among listed biker stocks, CFMoto stood out as the only worthwhile weekly investment bet.

Currency: yuanPriceWeekMonth
Qianjiang13.20-2.1%-2.6%
Zongshen8.85+0.7%+35.9%
Sundiro3.16-6.5%+12.1%
CETC (Jialing)11.74-8.5%-8%
Lifan3.16-1.6%-4.2%
Loncin6.42-0.6%+9.9%
Linhai8.10-3.1%+1.1%
Guangzhou Auto8.79+1%-0.9%
CFMoto136.00+5.8%+21.2%
Xinri E-Vehicle11.84+5.2%+9.9%

 

 

 

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