Global market report - April 23 2019

Investors have a lot to take on board this week, including higher oil prices, tech earnings from the likes of Amazon and Facebook and US GDP at the end of the week

James Gard 23 April, 2019 | 6:00PM


North America

There are plenty of variables for US investors to grapple with this week, including resurgent oil prices, the NASDAQ hitting a six-month high, and a raft of earnings from tech giants. Today sees Twitter (TWTR) report numbers from the first quarter and auction house eBay (EBAY).

We are now deep in the tech section of Q1 earnings season: Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) report on Wednesday, while Amazon (AMZN) reports after the market closes on Thursday.

US futures point to a flat open on Tuesday as investors weigh up the significance of around 1 million barrels of oil a day being removed from the market in the next week or so. Crude prices moved higher on these latest US sanctions on Iran, with Brent moving up to $74.50, a year-to-date high.

In economics, Canada is expected to hold interest rates at 1.75% on Wednesday, while Friday will see US GDP for the first quarter released.

Europe

As London traders return from the extended Easter break, there is a renewed attempt by the FTSE 100 to hit 7,500 points after a number of attempts. This move was despite a move higher in the pound back above $1.30.

The FTSE 100’s gain was in contrast to the sea of red seen across European stock markets this morning.

Asia

After a brief respite from the volatility at the end of last week, markets in Asia Pacific resumed their slide on Monday. The Shanghai Composite Index, which suffered a 5% daily fall last week, was off nearly 1.5% on Friday’s close, and ended below 2,600 points, retracing late 2014 levels.

Sentiment still remains fragile after last week’s sell-off, and this latest round of weakness is being fuelled by fears of more tariffs imposed by the US and ongoing tension between the West and Saudi Arabia. Tit-for-tat threats between China and the US have now been replaced by similar warnings from Saudi Arabia and the United States after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

China GDP is due on Friday.

Japan’s Nikkei was the worst performer in percentage terms, shedding nearly 2% on Friday’s close to 22,271 points.

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James Gard

James Gard  James Gard is subeditor for Morningstar.co.uk.