European equities rose on Tuesday, retracing some losses from sharp falls in the previous session that were driven by fears about lockdowns in China, inflation and central banks raising interest rates.
Ahead of quarterly results this week from tech titans Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet, which investors hope will confirm the logic of investing in businesses with the potential pricing power to deal with surging inflation, Europe’s regional Stoxx 600 share index added 0.8 per cent.
London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent while Germany’s Xetra Dax rose 1.1 per cent. In Asian markets, Chinese tech stocks listed in Hong Kong added 2.9 per cent, with the overall Hang Seng share index edging 0.3 per cent higher. However, mainland China’s CSI 300 fell a further 0.8 per cent after dropping 4.9 per cent on Monday in its worst day in more than two years, as panic buying and fears of a harsh coronavirus lockdown gripped Beijing.
“There is only really one thing that can stabilise markets, and that’s the [corporate] reporting season,” said César Pérez Ruiz, chief investment officer at Pictet Wealth Management. “And better than expected numbers from top-line companies.” Perhaps, he added, “it will be a case of Amazon to the rescue”.
Amazon releases its quarterly results on April 28, as does Apple.
The moves in Europe and Asia came after Wall Street stocks rebounded late in Monday’s session, after early falls. Social media platform Twitter on Monday evening accepted a $44bn bid from Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive and the world’s richest man.
“This has had a positive impact on market sentiment, but it could well be temporary,” said Guilhem Savry, head of global macro at fund manager Unigestion. “For the rest of the year, central banks will be the main element driving markets, as well as geopolitics.”
The FTSE All-World index of developed and emerging market stocks is down about 3 per cent since April 21, when Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell signalled the US central bank was prepared to raise interest rates aggressively to combat inflation, which surged to a 40-year high in March.
Global stocks also remain under pressure from Russia’s continued incursions into Ukraine as supply-chain disruptions and sanctions related to the war drive up the cost of food and fuel.
International oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.6 per cent on Tuesday to just under $102 a barrel, now well below the price of almost $140 reached in early March on prospects of the EU banning Russian oil exports — an event that remains the subject of intense talks between member states.
The US dollar index, which measures the world’s reserve currency against six others, rose 0.1 per cent to trade around its highest point since late March 2020.
Prices of core government bonds — which have been under pressure from inflation and rate rise expectations but rallied on Monday as traders hunted for low-risk assets — mostly drifted.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note fell 0.02 percentage points to 2.81 per cent, remaining close to its highest level since late 2018. The equivalent UK gilt yield added 0.02 percentage points to 1.86 per cent. Germany’s 10-year Bund yield was flat at 0.85 per cent.