Traders will weigh earnings from big-ticket firms including Microsoft and Intel
New York (AFP) - European and US stocks seesawed on Tuesday as investors weighed the chances of a global recession this year and more companies report earnings.
Equities have performed strongly since the start of the year as China’s economy reopens from strict lockdowns and markets bet on a policy shift from central banks that have been aggressively hiking interest rates to counter inflation.
But stocks moved with little pattern on Tuesday.
“There is a twinge of nervousness setting in that the stock market has gotten ahead of itself and is due for a pullback,” said market analyst Patrick O’Hare at Briefing.com.
Wall Street finished mixed after a choppy session, with the S&P 500 down a slight 0.1 percent.
The S&P Global Flash US Composite PMI rose from 45.0 points last month to 46.6 in January, remaining in contraction and pointing to subdued activity.
European indices failed to gain much traction from the comparable eurozone index, which rose to 50.2 in January from 49.3 in December.
While the overall result bolsters hopes that Europe will avoid a recession this winter, on a national level the data was less rosy.
“Although the latest European PMI numbers beat expectations, the upside surprise was minimal and there were some downside surprises on a country level, with French and UK services, and German manufacturing all disappointing expectations,” said market analyst Fawad Razaqzada at City Index and Forex.com.
Paris stocks ended the day up 0.3 percent while Frankfurt dipped less than a tenth of a percent.
London, where the services PMI sank to a two-year low, shed 0.4 percent.
At the same time, heavy fallout from lingering high energy costs was further evidenced Tuesday. Data showed UK government debt ballooning further in December, as it subsidizes gas and electricity bills for households and businesses.
“The impact of sky-high energy prices isn’t just being felt by households and businesses, it’s also taking a big bite out of the UK’s public finances,” said AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson.
- Tokyo shines -
In Asia, Tokyo stocks rose in another day of thin trade due to the Lunar New Year break.
Hopes that the Federal Reserve will slow down its pace of interest rate hikes have given investors optimism in recent days that the US economy could avert a recession, or at least suffer only a mild contraction.
While the year started on a positive note, BlackRock Investment Institute warned that markets were “vulnerable to negative surprises – and unprepared for recession.”
Companies are in the midst of reporting earnings for the past quarter, with investors in particular looking for information on how firms expect this year will turn out.
Results from big companies were uneven, with Verizon jumping 2.0 percent after scoring higher revenues on strong subscriber trends, while 3M dove 6.2 percent as it announced job cuts in the wake of a weak macroeconomic outlook.
- Key figures around 2140 GMT -
New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 33,733.96 (close)
New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,016.95 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.3 percent at 11,334.27 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,757.36 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN less than 0.1 percent at 15,093.11 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 7,050.48 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 4,153.02 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.5 percent at 27,299.19 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: Closed for a holiday
Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0889 from $1.0872 on Monday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2337 from $1.2379
Euro/pound: UP at 88.23 pence from 87.83 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 130.17 yen from 130.67 yen
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.3 percent at $86.13 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.8 percent at $80.13 per barrel