Wall Street extended its rally for the second session on Friday, as investors welcomed better-than-expected earnings reports while concerns about a Fed-induced economic slowdown eased. The Dow closed over 270 points higher and hit its 10-week high, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 added nearly 0.8% and 0.7%. In the latest batch of earnings, Exxon Mobil rose 1.2% after doubling its profit in the first quarter, while Intel jumped 4% after posting its quarterly results. The Nasdaq gains were limited by Amazon as shares of the e-commerce giant fell 4%, despite upbeat quarterly revenue. Meantime, Snap (-17%) and Pinterest (-15.6%) tumbled on disappointing second-quarter outlooks. Also, First Republic's shares plunged 43.3% after it was reported that the bank was most likely headed to receivership. On the week, the Dow added 0.7% while marked its best month since January. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.7% and 1.2%, respectively.
European equity markets rose on Friday, with the benchmark Stoxx 600 up 0.5% and the German DAX up 0.8% as investors digested a raft of economic data and corporate updates. Across sectors, oil and gas stocks led gains with an over 2% gain, while banks and utilities fell. Among single stocks, British bank NatWest fell almost 4%, even after reporting better than expected profit. In other corporate news, Mercedes-Benz has lifted its outlook for the annual adjusted return on sales of its vans division, while Danske Bank posted a sharp rise in Q1 results. Fund manager Amundi said assets under management fell at the end of the March quarter from a year ago, while energy group Eni's Q1 net profit dropped 11% yoy due to lower oil and gas prices. The latest GDP figures showed the Eurozone economy grew by a meager 0.1% in Q1, with Germany's GDP unexpectedly flat, as rising inflation and higher borrowing costs hit demand. At the same time, inflation rates in both France and Spain accelerated.
The Shanghai Composite rose 1.14% to close at 3,323 while the Shenzhen Component added 1.08% to 11,339 on Friday, extending gains from the previous session and taking cues from a positive lead on Wall Street, as an earnings-induced rally in big tech stocks offset concerns about the US economy. Better-than-expected corporate earnings in Chinese insurance companies also boosted investor sentiment. Financial firms led the advance, with strong gains from Ping An Insurance (3.2%), China Merchants Bank (3%) and Bank of Jiangsu (1.7%). Technology stocks also extended their rally, including Kunlun Tech (20%), BlueFocus Intelligent (18%) and Dawning Information Industry (5.7%). The benchmark indexes finished the week little changed, having recouped most of the losses from earlier in the week.
The BSE Sensex erased early losses and closed 530 points higher at 61,110 on Friday, the most in over two months to notch a 2.4% jump on the week amid a rebound for the Indian tech sector. Wipro shares led the gains with a 3% advance after its announcement of an INR 120 billion share buyback recovered some confidence in the beaten-down tech sector. Still, the company joined its peers in forecasting slower revenue growth this financial year, largely due to clients’ reduced discretionary spending. Tech Mahindra and Reliance Industries also booked gains, supporting the sector’s rebound from losses this week. On the other hand, Axis Bank sank 2.5% after reporting weaker-than-expected earnings in the period, capping off a batch of mixed results for banks. The BSE will be closed on Monday due to Maharashtra Day celebrations.
The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.4% to close at 28,856 while the broader Topix Index gained 1.23% to 2,057 on Friday, rising for the second straight session and hitting multi-month highs as the Bank of Japan maintained its ultra-easy monetary policy and made no adjustments to its yield curve control. However, the BOJ said it will remove forward guidance that pledges to keep interest rates at current or low levels. Japanese shares also tracked gains on Wall Street overnight, as an earnings-induced rally in big tech stocks offset concerns that further Federal Reserve monetary tightening could dampen economic growth. Strong gains were seen from index heavyweights such as Toyota Motor (1.8%), SoftBank Group (3%), Sony Group (2.1%), Tokyo Electron (1.9%) and Daikin Industries (3.3%).