US stock futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors cautiously awaited US major bank earnings on Friday. Futures contracts tied to the three major indexes were all trading near breakeven. In regular trading on Tuesday, the Dow rose 0.56%, the S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.01%, with all three benchmarks having a positive start to the year so far. Ten out of 11 S&P sectors finished higher on Tuesday, led by technology, consumer discretionary and healthcare. Those moves came as investors bet that the upcoming CPI report will show further easing, while Fed Chair Jerome Powell avoided making comments on the outlook for monetary policy at an event on Tuesday. China’s reopening which bolsters the outlook for the global economy also continued to aid market sentiment.
European equity markets were headed for a higher open on Wednesday. It will be a quiet day on the data front in the Eurozone, though investors are awaiting the latest corporate earnings results. DAX futures were up about 0.3% in early trade, while Stoxx 6000 futures rose 0.15%.Shares in London snapped five days of gains on Tuesday, with the blue-chip FTSE 100 pulling back from an almost record closing peak to end below 7,700 points, dragged by the technology and real estate sectors. Data showed that UK retail sales accelerated in December but remained well below the pace of UK inflation. Regarding individual share price movement, RS Group and British American Tobacco were among the biggest laggards on the FTSE 100, down roughly 4.4% and 3.8%, respectively.
The CAC 40 index fell about 0.6% to close at 6,869 on Tuesday, down from 11-month highs in the previous session. Domestically, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the government will put forward a draft law aimed at raising the regular retirement age to 64 from 62 by 2030. The government will raise the age for receiving a pension gradually, starting Sept. 1, 2023, she added. On the data front, industrial production in France rose 2% month-on-month in November, rebounding from an upwardly revised 2.5% drop in October, and compared to market forecasts of a 0.8% growth. Leading the losses are Eurofins Scientific SE (-3.64%), Unibail Rodamco (-2.69%) and Cie de Saint-Gobain (-2.40%). Top gainers were Renault (+2.18%), WorldLine SA (+1.96%) and Thales SA (0.87%).
The FTSE MIB index closed a choppy session marginally below the flatline at 25,365 on Tuesday, easing from the 10-month high touched last session .Utility providers and tech shares led the losses in Milan, with Enel sliding more than 1%. While booking a milder loss, Nexi shares dropped 0.3% after Barclays downgraded the tech firm’s recommendation, citing lower volumes of credit card usage as the European Central Bank raises interest rates. On the other hand, the heavy-weighing banking sector closed sharply in the green, with Finecobank advancing 1.2%.
The IBEX 35 index managed to close about 0.2% up at 8,713 on Tuesday, back to levels not seen since early June last year and outperforming its regional peers. Shares in Naturgy rose over 2% after Australian fund IFM said it has raised its stake in the Spanish gas company to 14% from 13.385%. The banking sector also posted solid gains, led by Unicaja. Bucking the trend, INM Colonial and Grifols were down by 2% and 1.9%, respectively, the most within the selective.
The BSE Sensex rose 176.7 points or 0.3% to 60,292.2 in morning deals on Wednesday, trying to recover from marked losses in the prior session. Gains were limited, however, after the World Bank slashed India's 2023 FY GDP growth to 6.9% from earlier forecasts of 7.5%, citing a slowdown in exports and investment. IT stocks, metals, and, PSU banks were higher, with Mphasis (2.6%), Larsen & Toubro Technology Services (2.3%), Coforge (1.8%), and Hindalco (2.0%) among top gainers. Traders now await India's inflation data that will be released Thursday, with Reuters projecting that the reading staying at 5.9% in December. Meantime, the country's industrial production is expected to have grown by 2.67% in December, rebounding from a 4% fall in November.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.24% to close at 3,162 while the Shenzhen Component lost 0.59% to 11,439 on Wednesday, with mainland shares consolidating recent gains as investors continued to assess the economic outlook following China’s swift reopening from Covid curbs and policy U-turns in quest for growth. Investors also turned cautious ahead of the Lunar New Year amid fears that increased travel could lead to a surge in Covid cases. Meanwhile, an upbeat session on Wall Street overnight kept Chinese stocks from further losses amid growing expectations that US inflation will show further easing, while Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell avoided making comments on the outlook for monetary policy at an event on Tuesday. New energy, technology and consumer stocks led the decline, with notable losses from Contemporary Amperex (-1%), Eve Energy (-5.6%), Beijing Join-Cheer (-4.2%), Shenzhen Infinova (-4.4%) and ChongQing Changan (-2.3%).