Stocks rise regardless of combined earnings; lockdown easing eyed

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock markets across the globe moved in and out of losses on Tuesday, whipsawed by Wall Street as mixed corporate earnings reports were not enough to offset a wild ride in oil prices.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in the financial district of lower Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S., April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Plans to ease major economies out of coronavirus lockdowns were continuing despite fresh warnings from scientists against doing it too soon, while reassuring UBS earnings lifted European banks nearly 4%, and 3M and Pfizer posted upbeat numbers.

U.S. crude futures rose as much as 7% and fell over 20% in wild trading, while BP’s quarterly profit tumbled by two-thirds and its debt climbed to its highest on record. The energy major kept its dividend despite warning of exceptional uncertainty and its shares rose 1.1%.

Investors are now gearing up for one of the busiest weeks for tech earnings, including reports from Microsoft (MSFT.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O) and eBay (EBAY.O).

“This is going to be an important test for the market as lots of businesses moved online following the lockdown,” said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard in London.

“If these big heavyweights in the tech space don’t deliver on the expectations, then of course the rally we’ve seen over the past few weeks (will) have to be questioned.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 2.47 points, or 0.01%, to 24,136.25, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 4.3 points, or 0.15%, to 2,874.18 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 85.59 points, or 0.98%, to 8,644.57.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.43% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.31%.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.84%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.58% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 lost 0.06%.

Oil prices were mixed as optimism about the easing of lockdowns reassured markets, but traders remained cautious as storage capacities were filling up fast and amid concerns about when demand will bounce back. [O/R]

U.S. crude CLc1 recently fell 5.09% to $12.13 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $20.22, up 1.15% on the day.

“Normally, a lower oil price disproportionately boosts consumer sentiment. However, the storage problem is due to reduced oil demand – if you are not putting petrol in your car, you will not notice the price,” UBS Chief Economist Paul Donovan said.

“The good news is that the money saved by not buying petrol now may be spent later in the economic bounceback.”

Petrocurrencies were whiplashed too. Canada’s dollar CAD= and the Norwegian crown NOK= both recovered from early falls, with the crown gaining as much as 1.5%.

Russia’s rouble RUB= also bounced back as much as 0.6%, while Brazil’s battered real BRL= strengthened 1.3% along with other emerging market currencies. [EMRG/FRX]

The dollar dropped against a basket of peers as rising stocks reflected improving risk appetite.

The dollar index =USD fell 0.198%, with the euro EUR= up 0.06% to $1.0834.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.33% versus the greenback at 106.89 per dollar, while Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2434, up 0.05% on the day.

Sweden’s central bank opted not to take its interest rates back into negative territory on Tuesday, sending its currency up1.5% and to its highest in over a month.

Markets are looking for any forward guidance from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which meets later on Tuesday and is due to issue a statement on Wednesday. The European Central Bank then meets on Thursday.

Analysts said it was unlikely that the Fed would make further major policy moves, given the scope and depth of recent action to counter the economic damage caused by the novel coronavirus.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 10/32 in price to yield 0.6224%, from 0.654% late on Monday.

The 2-year note US2YT=RR last fell 14/32 in price to yield 0.2013%, from 0.23%.

Spot gold XAU= dropped 0.8% to $1,700.39 an ounce.

Reporting by Marc Jones and Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Tom Wilson and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, Karen Brettell in New York and Karen C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Source: Reuters