Global market report - February 5

European markets were higher today, lifted by energy stocks, while many Asian stock exchanges are closed for Chinese New Year

James Gard 5 February, 2019 | 7:00PM

North America

 

Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) released earnings after the market closed last night that beat Wall Street estimates. But a fall in ad prices and rising costs took the shine off the shares, which fell 3% in pre-market trading.

Walt Disney (DIS) and Estee Lauder (EL) report today, Disney after the market closes and Estee Lauder before it opens.

In economics, the ISM non-manufacturing/services composite index for January is due today.

A number of speeches from Federal Reserve committee members are due this week, including Jerome Powell, Randal Quarles, Richard Clarida, Robert Kaplan.

The Canadian unemployment rate for January is expected to creep up to 5.7%, from 5.6% in the prior month.

Mexico’s central bank is expected to hold interest rates at 8.25% on Thursday, while inflation figures for the country are due on the same day.

 

Europe

 

The FTSE 100 had three strong drivers today, sterling weakness, a rise in BP’s (BP.) share price after a doubling of annual profits and a general “risk-on” approach by global investors. The index was up over 1% to 7,113, which means that it is up around 400 points since the start of the year.

The pound dropped back after a weaker-than-expected services PMI index for January. The reading of 50.1 suggests the sector is just above the line that separates expansion and contraction. Previous construction and manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes came in below forecasts, suggesting a sluggish start to the year for the UK economy. On Monday, UK GDP for the fourth quarter will be released.

Ocado (OCDO) shares rose despite a rise in annual losses as investors backed the online food retailer’s growth story.

European indices pushed higher as energy stocks rose, with Germany’s DAX marginally in front in terms of daily percentage gains.

Asia

 

Chinese New Year kept China and Hong Kong stock markets closed. Japan’s Nikkei drifted marginally lower on the day.

Australia held interest rates at 1.5% and hasn’t changed interest rates for 30 months. Domestic bank stocks were boosted by news that the regulator is not planning to force a break-up of finance firms.

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James Gard

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