Global stocks solid ahead of central bank meetings

AP News
Posted: Apr 26, 2016 8:24 AM
Global stocks solid ahead of central bank meetings

LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets were trading largely higher Tuesday as traders digested a raft of corporate earnings statements from around the world in the run-up to the latest policy decisions from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent to 6,290 while Germany's DAX added 0.2 percent to 10,315. France's CAC 40 was steady at 4,547. Wall Street was poised for modest gains with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent.

CENTRAL BANK FOCUS: Much of the focus across all financial markets this week centers on the latest policy decisions from the Fed and the Bank of Japan. The Fed begins its two-day meeting Tuesday while the Bank of Japan meets Thursday.

ANALYST TAKE: Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said hopes are "high of continued accommodative language from the former and more policy easing from the latter." Risk appetite, he added, "would appear to be on the up in contrast to the usual investor side-lining we see ahead of major risk events."

EARNINGS: A raft of earnings over the rest of the week will also be closely eyed by traders. "Over 200 U.S. firms today, including Apple, mean that investors are bracing themselves for a manic session," said Chris Beauchamp, Senior Market Analyst at IG.

BP BOUNCE: Cost-cutting and a solid performance from the refining and marketing arm helped British energy producer BP cushion the hit from low oil prices in the first quarter. Though the company reported a 79 percent slide in earnings, its share price spiked sharply higher as the results were better than anticipated.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished mixed after a weak start. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent to 17,353.28 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.3 percent to 2,019.63. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent to 21,407.27 but Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.3 percent to 5,283.60. The Shanghai Composite index finished 0.6 percent higher at 2,964.70.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 54 cents to $43.18 per barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 38 cents to $44.86 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1288 while the dollar was flat at 111.11 yen.