Eurozone Economy Shrinks In Q4

Gold Prices Mixed In Lackluster Trade

Gold prices were mixed in lackluster trade on Wednesday as retail trading euphoria showed signs of fatigue and the rollout of vaccines in many countries gathered pace.

Spot gold slid 0.2 percent to $1,834.81 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at 1,836.15.

The social media-driven rally that started last week appears to have run out of steam after silver plunged more than 8 percent in the previous session on the heels of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange lifting margin requirements, in a move aimed at reducing market volatility.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has summoned financial regulators to discuss the recent market volatility.

Equities are seeing renewed buying amid optimism that increased government spending around the world and concerted efforts to accelerate vaccine rollout will boost global growth.

The U.S. Senate took steps on Tuesday to open the door for Democrats to push through the Covid-19 rescue package on their own, but bipartisanship was absent.

The rollout of vaccines in many countries is gathering pace, with Russia announcing it would be able to vaccinate 700 million people with the Sputnik V coronavirus jab this year.

Mexico plans to import about 870,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine from India in February. Elsewhere, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients said that 6,500 pharmacies will receive 1 million doses starting next week.

Oil Hits 11-month High On Bullish API Data

Oil prices rose on Wednesday to hover near 11-month highs as expectations of tighter supply outweighed pandemic-related concerns.

An unexpected draw in U.S. crude and gasoline stocks also fueled hopes for demand recovery.

Brent crude for April settlement rose 0.4 percent to $58.02 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.8 percent at $55.1.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 4.3 million barrels in the week ending January 29. Analysts had predicted an inventory build of 446,000 barrels for the week.

Gasoline stocks and distillate inventories also fell, bolstering hopes of a recovery in the fuel demand.

Oil cartel Opec and its allied producers, including Russia has forecast that the market will be in deficit in 2021.

Investors look ahead to the OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting scheduled for today and the release of the EIA crude oil inventory report for further direction.

Check Point Software Q4 Results Top View – Quick Facts

Cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP) reported Wednesday that net income for the fourth quarter grew to $270.8 million or $1.95 per share from $272.3 million or $1.84 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted net income for the quarter was $301.0 million or $2.17 per share, compared to $299.3 million or $2.02 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, 27 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $2.11 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenue for the quarter increased 4 percent to $563.8 million from $543.8 million in the same quarter last year. Analysts expected revenues of $555.4 million.

As of December 31, 2020, deferred revenues were $1.48 billion, up 7 percent from last year.

GameStop, AMC shares reverse course in retail trading rollercoaster

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(Reuters) -Shares of videogame retailer GameStop Corp and movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc erased early declines to rise 9.2% and 4.1%, respectively, in a social media-driven trading rollercoaster ride.

Silicon Labs Q4 Results Beat Estimates; Guides Q1 Above View – Quick Facts

Silicon Laboratories Inc. (SLAB) on Wednesday reported net income for the fourth quarter of $8.95 million or $0.20 per share, down from $9.72 million or $0.22 per share in the year-ago period.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.84 per share.

Revenues for the quarter grew to $242.92 million from $219.44 million in the prior-year quarter.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.73 per share for the quarter on revenues of $226.35 million. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

For the first quarter, Silicon Labs forecast reported earnings in a range of $0.05 to $0.15 per share, adjusted earnings in a range of $0.70 to $0.80 per share, and revenue in a range of $237 million to $247 million. The Street expects earnings of $0.67 per share for the quarter on revenues of $220.8 million.

Eurozone Economy Shrinks In Q4

Due to the restrictions related to Covid-19, the euro area economy contracted in the fourth quarter after bouncing back in the preceding three months, preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat showed on Tuesday.

Gross domestic product fell 0.7 percent sequentially, in contrast to a sharp growth of 12.4 percent logged in the third quarter. However, the pace of contraction was less than the economists’ forecast of -1 percent.

On a yearly basis, the economy shrank 5.1 percent, bigger than the 4.3 percent decline seen in the third quarter and economists’ forecast of -5.4 percent.

In the whole year of 2020, the euro area GDP was down 6.8 percent, data showed.

With strict containment measures still necessary to control the virus, and vaccination programmes progressing slowly, activity across the region will remain very subdued for some time, Jack Allen-Reynolds, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund downgraded Eurozone’s growth forecast for this year to 4.2 percent from 5.2 percent. The single currency economy is forecast to expand 3.6 percent in 2022.

The EU27 GDP dropped 0.5 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter and shrank 4.8 percent from the same period last year.

Among the member states, for which data are available for the fourth quarter, Austria reported the biggest decline of 4.3 percent, followed by a 2 percent fall in Italy and a 1.3 percent drop in France.

Meanwhile, Germany managed to grow 0.1 percent and Spain expanded 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter.