Despite gaining more than 10% early on in the session, Kroger finally added 6.07% by the close to settle at $25.86 per share. This after it released better-than-expected results. During the 3rd quarter, Kroger recorded a 4.5% increase in total revenues to $27.75bn, topping estimates of $27.46bn. Kroger net earnings grew to $397mn, or 44 cents per share, up from $391mn, or 41 cents per share, a year ago. As a result, this surpassed analysts’ forecasts of 40 cents per share. Looking forward, Kroger has forecast same-store sales set to increase by more than 1.1% in the 4th quarter, supported by a revamp in its business.
In currencies, the rand strengthened for most of the day before erasing its gains overnight. After a previous close of R13.659/$ on Wednesday, the rand touched a low of R13.721/$ at 11:10. However, the local currency then surged to a high of R13.575/$ at 17:00, helped along by local data which showed that South Africa had recorded a monthly trade surplus of R4.56bn in October. The rand weakened overnight as it moved to just above R13.72/$ this morning.
In Asia, markets started the new month off on a mixed note, with mainland markets extending their recent declines. The Shanghai Composite featured among the region’s worst performers, down 0.35% to just above the 3,300 index point level at the break. The Hang Seng lost 0.15%, on track to extend its recent run of losses, negatively affected by a near 2% decline in Tencent. On the upside, the Australian ASX had risen 0.19% to 6,069 index points, while the Japanese Nikkei is set to end higher for the 3rd consecutive day after adding 0.17%.
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