Markets mixed as tech boosts US stock futures, Europe dips | Inquirer Business

Markets mixed as tech boosts US stock futures, Europe dips

/ 04:15 PM April 26, 2023

LONDON/SINGAPORE  – Global stock markets moved in opposite directions on Wednesday, as European investors responded to strain in the U.S. banking sector but Wall Street futures rose on bullish updates from Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet.

Europe’s STOXX 600 share index fell 0.9 percent, as regional banking stocks dropped 1.7 percent.

MSCI’s broad index of global stocks was steady, as Asian markets outside of Japan ticked higher in line with rising Wall Street futures.


Shares in troubled San Francisco-based lender First Republic Bank hit a record low on Tuesday as it disclosed a $100-billion plunge in deposits, reviving fears over smaller U.S. banks that began with Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse in March.


First Republic Bank deposits tumble more than $100B as it explores options

But ahead of quarterly results from Facebook parent Meta Platforms later in the day, Nasdaq futures were up 1.2 percent on Wednesday morning in Europe and S&P 500 futures gained 0.3 percent.

Microsoft’s Frankfurt-listed shares rose 7.4 percent after its quarterly results, issued after the U.S. stock market closed on Tuesday, beat analysts’ forecasts. A $70-billion share buyback announced by Google parent Alphabet also looked set to insulate the mood on Wall Street from banking sector troubles.

U.S. and European financial conditions have tightened significantly since the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank embarked on their most aggressive interest rate-hiking cycles for decades last year to battle inflation.

This has dented confidence towards loan-dependent sectors such as real estate, and raised questions over how global banks will deal with defaults.

Deposit flight from U.S. banks has prompted investors to dial down profit expectations for the global banking sector, with banks under pressure to raise interest rates on savings accounts to keep hold of customers’ money.


“Banks around the world want to make sure their deposits will stay,” said Jason Da Silva, director of global investment strategy at Arbuthnot Latham in London.

“So there’s an expectation in the market that banks’ earnings and net interest margins have probably peaked.”

The benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes had both fallen heavily on Tuesday following weak consumer confidence data, while bonds rallied sharply and interest rate futures markets priced in a higher chance of Fed cuts later in the year.

U.S. ten-year yields fell nearly 12 basis points (bps) on Tuesday, their sharpest drop in more than a month, while steadying about 2 basis points higher at 3.398 percent on Wednesday morning in Europe. Germany’s ten-year yield slipped 2 bps to 2.375 percent after dropping 11 bps in the previous session.

Dollar, yen buoyed as US banking sector fears put safe-havens back in vogue

On Wednesday, the U.S. dollar index was steady against most majors after a 0.5 percent gain the day before. The euro edged 0.2 percent higher to $1.10. Gold was pinned just below $2,000 an ounce.

The yen was steady at 133.6 per dollar ahead of the Bank of Japan’s meeting this week, as markets await clues from new governor Kazuo Ueda about whether he might ditch policies that have suppressed domestic bond yields and the yen.

Brent crude futures hovered at $81.35 a barrel, having dropped almost 4 percent overnight with the risk-averse mood.

TAGS: Global, Stock Markets

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