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Europe stocks rise but Wall Street falls as tech falters

European stock markets finished higher as investors shrugged off data showing that the eurozone's economy had slowed to 0.2 percent in the first quarter while inflation stayed at record levels.

April 29, 2022 / 10:35 PM IST
Representative Image (Reuters)

Representative Image (Reuters)

European and Asian stock markets rose Friday but Wall Street tumbled following disappointing results from tech giants Amazon, Apple, and Intel.

Investors tracked a slew of economic and corporate news, with Chinese officials hinting they could ease their crackdown on the country's tech sector and data showing the eurozone economy slowed in the first quarter.

Traders are also operating under the shadows of the Ukraine war, China's Covid lockdown, soaring inflation and a looming interest rate hike in the United States next week.

European stock markets finished higher as investors shrugged off data showing that the eurozone's economy had slowed to 0.2 percent in the first quarter while inflation stayed at record levels.

There was some much-needed good news for China's embattled tech sector.

Close

The official Xinhua news agency reported that a meeting of the government's decision-making body ended with officials saying it was "necessary to promote the healthy development of the platform economy" and "complete its rectification".

The report suggests an easing of the sweeping clampdown on the country's biggest firms.

In the Politburo meeting, chaired by President Xi Jinping, officials also said there was a need to "respond to market concerns in a timely manner".

Hong Kong stock markets closed up four percent and Shanghai put on more than two percent.

But investors worried about the US tech sector after Amazon posted on Thursday its first quarterly loss since 2015 and warned of continuing challenges in the months ahead.

Wall Street was down in midday deals, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq index down 1.6 percent and Amazon shares tumbling by more than 12 percent.

Apple shares also fell a day after the company reported solid profits but warned that it could take a hit of as much as $8 billion due to China's Covid lockdown and ongoing supply chain bottlenecks.

"Amazon was the latest to catch Wall Street off guard, reporting its first loss since 2015 amid a multitude of challenges facing the company," said Craig Erlam, analyst at forex platform OANDA.

"Like many others, the company is struggling to adjust to post-pandemic life having scaled up massively over the last couple of years," Erlam said.

Shares in chip-making giant Intel fell as well following a disappointing forecast.

Investors also digested mixed US economic data as incomes and personal consumption expenditures climbed more than expected last month, but prices rose as inflation persists.

Oil up, dollar drops

In foreign exchange, the dollar dropped on profit-taking after surging to multi-years highs against the yen and euro this week with the US Federal Reserve set to aggressively hike interest rates to combat soaring inflation.

Elsewhere, oil prices jumped Friday as tight Russian supply fears help to offset weaker demand concerns fuelled by China's lockdowns.

ExxonMobil reported that first-quarter profits more than doubled to $5.5 billion as high oil prices more than made up for costs connected to exiting its Sakhalin project in Russia.

The US energy giant last month announced a phased withdrawal from the giant Sakhalin offshore oil field that it has operated since 1995 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The shift resulted in a $3.4 billion hit in one-time costs during quarter.

 



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AFP
first published: Apr 29, 2022 10:35 pm
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