Stock Market Today: Asian shares rose before Wall Street earnings week
Shares in China closed higher on Wednesday, led by EVs and healthcare stocks on solid gains. The new energy vehicle sector sub-index hiked by 2.58%, and the healthcare sub-index increased by 2.11%. Meanwhile, investors expected a likely politburo meeting later this week.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.42% to 3,457.07, and the blue-chip index increased by 0.56%.
The consumer staples sector slipped by 0.03%. At the same time, the real estate index dropped by 0.14%.
The smaller Shenzhen index declined by 0.8%, and the start-up board, ChiNext Composite index, hiked by 2.162%. The tech-focused STAR 50 index surged by 0.94%.
Shares in Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, a China-based supplier of power battery systems, surged by 5.3%. The world’s biggest battery maker for new energy vehicles announced a 22% jump in its 2020 net profit.
Later this week, the politburo, the top decision-making body of China’s ruling Communist Party, will hold a meeting, and investors have an eye on it.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange gains 0.21%
The Tokyo Stock Exchange closed today with a 0.21% increase. The Nikkei, its primary indicator, was encouraged by the prospects of good financial results among Japanese companies and the yen’s devaluation.
The Nikkei gained 62.08 points and finished at 29,053.97 integers. Meanwhile, the broader Topix index, including the stocks with the largest caps, gained 5.51 points or 0.29%, up to 1,909.06 integers.
The Tokyo stock market moved in positive territory most of the day, encouraged by the good prospects of Japanese companies. They will present their financial results for the past fiscal year in the next few days.
The local benchmark, tech giant Softbank, lost 1.48%. Meanwhile, Japan’s auto leader Toyota Motor gained 1.55%.
Sony closed with an increase of 3.14%, and Nintendo, the video game company, posted an advance of 2.04%.
The sectors that accumulated the highest profits were brokerages, mining, and transportation equipment.
NYSE with slight losses due to corporate results
Weak corporate results from Tesla and 3M dragged down major Wall Street indices on Tuesday. Investors on the New York Stock Exchange began to pay more attention to big tech companies like Microsoft and Alphabet.
Shares of electric car maker Tesla Inc were down 4%, pushing down the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Its above-market earnings were supported by sales of environmental-related loans and a bitcoin liquidation rather than the sale of vehicles.
Shares of Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc were down more than 0.5% each. Meanwhile, shares of Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, and Amazon.com Inc – which will report results this week – were mixed.
The five companies combined account for around 22% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization. Analysts are waiting for guidance on where the market will go in the next six months to a year.
Overall, S&P 500 earnings are expected to jump 34.5% in the first quarter versus the same period last year.
Dow Jones increased by 0.01%, and Nasdaq dropped by 0.34% on the New York Stock Exchange.
WHO warns that the pandemic continues to intensify globally
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the general director of the WHO, warned that the coronavirus pandemic continues to intensify around the world. He highlighted that infections are increasing for the ninth consecutive week and, for the sixth consecutive week, the death rate is growing.
Various regions posted some decreases in Covid-19 cases. However, many countries are still experiencing intense transmission, such as India, where the situation is disheartening.
The leader of the United Nations body recalled that they are doing everything they can to deal with the pandemic, providing the necessary supplies to hospitals and laboratories. In addition, they have provided personnel to support surveillance, technical advice, and vaccination efforts. Vaccines will help us end the COVID-19 pandemic, but only if we guarantee fair access for all countries and create robust systems to manage them, they added.
Indian shares hiked on solid earnings
Gains in financial and automaker stocks on strong quarterly results supported Indian shares to hit a near three-week high.
the NSE Nifty 50 index gained 0.71% to 14,757, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.78% to 49,327.30. Last week, both indexes experienced an almost 2% drop. It resulted from investors’ worry over the economic impact of the surge in coronavirus cases and the death toll. In the week to April 23, infections in India totaled 1.2 million, and 8,000 people died.
At the same time, S&P Global Ratings declared the second wave of the coronavirus in India acts as downside risks to GDP.
According to Sharon Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium, the way to limit the viral variants is to prevent the virus from replicating. So the best way to control them is to control the overall amount of disease that we have at the moment.
Saudi Arabia to sell 1% of Aramco
Saudi Arabia is in negotiations to sell 1% of state oil giant Saudi Aramco to a leading global energy company. The kingdom’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke about this on a Saudi-owned news channel this week.
Saudi Aramco was the world’s largest IPO when it went public in December 2019 and traded about 1.5% of its shares on the local stock exchange, Tadawul.
The prince declared that he does not want to make any promises. Still, there is a discussion about acquiring a 1% stake by a leading global energy company. That will be a great deal to improve Aramco’s sales in the country where this company is based, he said. The prince did not specify the company but said it is from a large country.
He also said there are talks with other firms. Some Aramco shares could be transferred to the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. Some stocks may also be listed on the Saudi market.
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