Stock markets

Stock markets cautious ahead of earnings announcements

European markets opened cautiously higher following mixed trading in Asia

Futures markets are predicted to have a modestly positive opening on Wall Street. Global stocks trimmed their gains as investors grow cautious.

A global stock market rally showed signs of faltering on Tuesday, ahead of a slew of corporate earnings announcements that are likely to reveal further damaging effects from the coronavirus outbreak.

European markets opened cautiously higher following mixed trading in Asia. Futures markets predicted a modestly positive opening for Wall Street, one day after the S&P 500 rose nearly 1.5 percent.

Companies like Ford, Merck and Starbucks are scheduled to report financial results for the first quarter of the year on Tuesday. While the earnings reports may further cloud the hopes for a healthy global recovery, they may also give companies a chance to outline the steps they are taking to reopen.

Underscoring the uncertainty, prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, often seen as a safe place to put money in times of trouble, were mixed outside U.S. trading hours. U.S. oil prices continued their plunge from Monday and were flirting with $10 a barrel at midday in Asia.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1 percent. The Shanghai Composite index in mainland China fell 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 1.2 percent, bucking the trend toward mixed trading. South Korea’s Kospi index was up 0.6 percent, and Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.5 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 was 0.5 percent higher. Germany’s DAX traded 0.7 percent higher in early hours, while the CAC 40 index in France was up 0.5 percent.

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