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Global Stocks Regain Ground

26/03/2019 12:35pm

Dow Jones News


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By David Hodari 

Global stocks ticked up Tuesday, extending a moderate rebound after a sharp selloff late last week.

U.S. futures put the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average on course to climb 0.5% at the open after both indexes eked out gains on Monday. Both indexes remained at least 1.2% below their level a week earlier.

Technology, financial and energy stocks were driving the Dow's moderate gains in premarket trade. Tech stocks were in focus after a series of announcements from the sector's major players Monday.

Apple shares were up 0.8% in premarket trade, after announcing a raft of products aimed at boosting its services revenues, including new TV and news products. Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, has a commercial agreement to supply news services to Apple. Separately, Uber completed the $3.1 billion purchase of Middle Eastern rival Careem Networks.

Nike shares rose 1.2% prior to the open, clawing back some of the selling that came Monday in the wake of attorney Michael Avenatti's arrest after he threatened to unveil evidence of an alleged major scandal perpetrated by the company.

Banking stocks also outperformed before the opening bell, with Goldman Sachs rising 1% and JPMorgan Chase up 0.8%. Goldman's collaboration with Apple on its new credit card adds to the recent pressure on financial sector stocks amid ebbing market expectations of aggressive monetary policy from central banks.

Investors' and strategists' recent jitters over the prospects for global growth relating to a raft of downbeat economic data have prompted a softening in central bank rhetoric in recent weeks, a move that has stung bank stocks.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasurys was 2.440%, up from 2.418% late Monday and on course to snap a four-day negative streak. A recent slip in 10-year U.S. Treasury yields below the level of three-month Treasury bills has been seen by some investors as foreshadowing a potential U.S. economic downturn.

With 2019's first financial quarter ending later this week, investors are looking ahead to the next three months.

"It's been a good quarter for equities, fixed income and credit, which really raises the bar to repeat that kind of performance in the second quarter and brings us back to the point that equities and fixed income rallying does not, in principle, make sense if the global economy is slowing," said Kenneth Broux, senior strategist at Société Générale.

French GDP figures on Tuesday matched market expectations. Growth figures from the U.S. are due Thursday, and from the U.K., Spain and Canada on Friday. Some strategists remained optimistic that the gloomy figures of the first months of the year will prove temporary.

"When you drill down into core inflation, you're seeing robust demand, robust wage growth, healthy unemployment data and generally underlying growth remains pretty healthy," said Benjamin Jones, senior multi-asset strategist at State Street.

In Germany, the yield on 10-year government bonds shrugged off a weaker-than-expected consumer confidence survey released Tuesday, rising to minus 0.011 from minus 0.028% earlier in the day. Yields fall as prices rise. That weak survey reading chimed with similarly downbeat eurozone purchasing managers index figures at the end of last week.

Germany's DAX index underperformed other European benchmarks, rising 0.2%, while the broader Stoxx 600 index climbed 0.5%.

Shares in energy companies were up both in the U.S. and in Europe, with Exxon Mobil Corp stock up 0.5% and the Stoxx Europe 600's energy sector advancing 0.8%. Oil prices having recently recovered following a difficult start to the year.

Brent crude oil futures, the global benchmark, last up 0.8% at $67.36 barrel. West Texas Intermediate futures were last up 1.4% at $59.62 a barrel.

U.K. assets remained little changed despite lawmakers' decision late Monday to wrest control of the Brexit process away from Prime Minister Theresa May. The FTSE 100 was up 0.2% and the pound was up 0.3% against the dollar at $1.3234.

The gains in Europe followed more mixed trading in Asia. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 2.2% thanks to buoyant pharmaceuticals and transportation stocks, while shares in Nintendo jumped 4.8% after the company announced plans to launch two new versions of its Switch console.

South Korea's Kospi benchmark rose 0.2%, with index heavyweight Samsung Electronics down 0.6% after warning of a hit to earnings from weak chip prices.

Mainland China stocks fell ahead of the resumption of cabinet-level trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.5% and the Shenzhen A-Share dropped 2.2%, though those benchmarks tend to be more volatile than many of their Asian counterparts. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2%.

Write to David Hodari at David.Hodari@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 26, 2019 08:20 ET (12:20 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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