Global stock markets mostly rose Tuesday as tensions in bond markets eased and several major US companies reported strong earnings, shifting attention from the doubts that have plagued equities of late.
Major US indices surged more than two percent in Wall Street’s best session since March following a plethora of solid results from large banks and health care companies.
Earlier, European equities also pushed higher amid an apparent fading of tensions between Italy and the EU over Rome’s spending, and there were also glimmers of hope that Brexit talks could see some progress.
Asian bourses also had a good day for the most part, with the Nikkei winning 1.3 percent in bargain-hunting after suffering a big drop the prior session.
‘Investors may not be feeling particularly comfortable yet but we are seeing some welcome stability in the markets,’ said Craig Erlam, an analyst at Oanda.
Sentiment in the United States was boosted following strong earnings reports from large companies including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealth Group. All finished at least two percent higher.
‘Today what we are seeing is largely related to earnings results,’ said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research, who added that the earnings thus far, while upbeat, came from a relatively small number of major companies.
‘It is not going to be all good news throughout the earnings season,’ she said.
The gains helped the market shift focus after worries about high interest rates and trade war fallout prompted a bruising two-day rout last week that hung over stocks on Monday, when equities again fell.
Lingering concerns ‘aren’t going to vanish overnight, yet encouraging earnings guidance can go a long way toward dulling the stock market’s bearish senses for the time being and instilling some upside momentum again in growth stocks,’ analyst Patrick O’Hare wrote at
Oil prices, meanwhile, continued to edge higher amid continued questions over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who criticized the conservative monarchy.
Saudi Arabia stood by denials that the kingdom killed a missing journalist but backed a ‘thorough’ probe, the United States said.
Analysts said while some oil market tension was to be expected during the standoff, there was very little chance that Saudi Arabia would weaponize oil exports in response.
‘Obviously, Saudi Arabia has the ability to use oil to put pressure on the rest of the world,’ said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at research consultancy Capital Economics.
‘But historically it has always tried to avoid mixing economics and politics – and has consequently gained a reputation for reasonable behaviour where oil is concerned,’ she told AFP.
Key figures around 2030 GMT
New York – Dow Jones: UP 2.2 percent at 25,798.42 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 2.2 percent at 2,809.92 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 2.9 percent at 7,645.49 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,059.40 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.4 percent at 11,776.55 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.5 percent at 5,173.05 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.5 percent at 3,257.34 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.3 percent at 22,549.24 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.1 percent at 25,462.26 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.9 percent at 2,546.33 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1577 from $1.1579 at 2100 GMT 
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3187 from $1.3152 
Dollar/yen: UP at 112.26 from 111.77 yen 
Oil – Brent Crude: UP 63 cents at $81.41 per barrel 
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 14 cents at $71.92 per barrel