LONDON: European stocks rose Tuesday (31st day of October, 2023) after a mixed Asian session despite spreading economic and geopolitical uncertainty on the eve of a US interest-rate decision.
World oil prices rebounded somewhat, having tanked Monday on easing fears of a worsening regional Middle East conflict.
Investors in Europe set aside news that eurozone economy shrank by 0.1 percent in the third quarter after an anaemic 0.2-percent growth in the second quarter.
Italy recorded zero economic growth to narrowly avoid recession and France slowed to 0.1-percent growth, data showed one day after news that Germany’s powerhouse economy shrank 0.1 percent.
“Stocks traded higher in Europe on Tuesday, despite Asian shares closing mixed, while economic and geopolitical uncertainties linger,” noted Activ Trades analyst Pierre Veyret.
He cautioned however that the region’s energy sector was hit after British oil giant BP sharply missed expectations over its third-quarter underlying profit.
Attention is also on meetings by major central banks, with Japan announcing a small tweak to its policy control programme that fell short of expectations, sending the yen down against the dollar but providing support to Tokyo’s equity market.
Analysts were also on tenterhooks on the eve of the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate call.
“The consensus in the market is that the Federal Reserve will maintain its current interest rate stance this week,” noted SPI Asset Management analyst Stephen Innes.
“In a world marked by significant uncertainty, this has been the prevailing sentiment.”
Oil had tumbled more than three percent Monday on relief that the Israel-Hamas conflict has not geographically escalated to include other regional powers such as Iran or Saudi Arabia, analysts said.
Israel’s intensifying land and air campaign has heightened fears for the 2.4 million civilians trapped inside Gaza, where the Hamas-ruled health ministry says more than 8,500 have been killed by Israeli bombardment.
Asian markets were partly weighed down Tuesday by data showing China’s factory sector activity shrank in October.
That stoked fresh worries about the health of the world’s number-two economy.
“Market confidence in the Chinese economy remains depressed,” said Nomura analysts.
“We expect economic conditions to remain poor or even to deteriorate further in coming months.”
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,368.79 points
Frankfurt – DAX: UP 0.5 percent at 14,795.23
Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.0 percent at 6,890.33
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.9 percent at 4,065.22
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 30,858.85 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.7 percent at 17,112.48 (close) Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,018.77 (close)
New York – Dow: UP 1.6 percent at 32,928.96 (close)
Dollar/yen: UP at 150.68 yen from 149.06 yen on Monday
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0663 from $1.0619
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2192 from $1.2168
Euro/pound: UP at 87.46 pence from 87.23 pence
Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.0 percent at $88.36 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.0 percent at $83.09 per barrel