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Stock markets in anticipation of first quarter results

13 April 2009 / 09:04:37  GRReporter
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In a week where government officials around the world - from the USA and the UK to China, and even Greece – expressed their opinion that there’s hope for the global economy and recovery is near, stock markets acted accordingly and most continued their upward trends.

The Dow Jones closed at 8083 points, up from the 8017 points close last Friday (3rd April) to give it a 0.66% climb for the week. The Japanese Nikkei also rose by about half a percent, closing Friday at 8938 points. However, the news were not so good in the UK, as the FTSE 100 slipped 1.5% this week to close under the 4000 points barrier, which it has just overcome at the end of March. The Athens Stock exchange continued its recent good performance, closing at 1881.95 or a 7.3% weekly gain.

Crunch time is approaching for global stock markets as most companies will report their first quarter earnings over the next couple of weeks. This will be a crucial time for investors, as one might remember that in January it was worse-than-expected earnings from giants like Intel and Time Warner that threw the markets into a slump. Intel reports on the 14th April, and another big company – General Electric reports on the 17th April, and Citigroup will also post results on the same day.

In Greek domestic news, it is estimated that around 15,300 businesses did not pay taxes in 2008, bringing the estimated untaxed earnings to 20 billion euro. The inquiry also found 15,500 individuals that did not declare their earnings. It is hoped that recently proposed reforms to curb tax evasion will improve the situation in 2009, as the government urgently needs that tax revenue to cut their budget deficit as per the European Commission’s recommendation.

Automobile sales in Greece fell by 40.3% in the first quarter of 2009, with expected annual sales moving around 1998 levels of 13,373. The leader in car sales remains Toyota with 1.582 sales, a number 25.8% lower than last year.

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