Oil prices slid 20%, extending Monday’s nearly 25% decline amid ongoing fears that storage around the world is rapidly filling. Corporate earnings came from BP, Santander, UBS, Novartis and Carrefour, among others on Tuesday.
European markets were higher Tuesday as investors reacted to falling oil prices and a host of corporate earnings.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up nearly 2% during afternoon deals, insurance stocks jumping 5% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory.
Global oil markets are focused on oil prices, which pared earlier losses by the afternoon. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, saw futures contracts for June delivery gain almost 4% to trade at around $13.25 a barrel. Earlier in the day, U.S. oil prices had slid almost 20%, extending Monday’s nearly 25% decline amid ongoing fears that storage around the world is rapidly filling.
Stocks on Wall Street were also trading higher on Tuesday, as investor sentiment was lifted by the prospect of some of the U.S. economy reopening soon.
The coronavirus pandemic remains the key news for markets, as economies around the world begin to draw up tentative plans to reopen in the hope that the spread of the virus is passing its peak.
More than 3 million people are now reported to have been infected by the coronavirus around the world and over 210,800 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Follow our live updates on the pandemic here.
Earnings in focus
HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, said on Tuesday that its pretax profit fell 48% year-over-year to $3.229 billion in the first quarter of 2020, while revenue dropped by 5% to $13.686 billion. The bank’s London-listed shares hovered above the flatline during afternoon trade.
Earnings elsewhere in Europe are also impacting sentiment, with reports from BP, Santander, UBS, Novartis and Carrefour, among others on Tuesday.
HSBC results were unsurprising given economic fallout from coronavirus: Analyst
BP missed profit expectations to post a first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, used as a proxy for net profit, of $800 million. That compared with $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2019, reflecting a fall of 67%. The oil giant’s stock edged 2% higher.
UBS shares climbed 6.7% after the Swiss lender posted a 40% increase in profit for the first quarter of 2020 on the year before, with net profit attributable to shareholders coming in at $1.6 billion.
Santander, the euro zone’s second-largest bank by market value, reported an 82% year-on-year decline in first-quarter net profit on the back of higher provisions for expected credit losses from the coronavirus outbreak. The Spanish bank’s shares gained 3%.
Cinema operator Cineworld jumped more than 19% while German mass media company Prosiebensat and British oil services firm Wood Group gained more than 10%.
Games Workshop shares added more than 9% after the company estimated that its pre-tax profit for the year ending May 31 2020 would be no less than £70 million ($87 million).
At the other end of the European benchmark, German payment company Wirecard tumbled more than 26% after the release of a KPMG report into its accounting practices, which found no suspicious activity but highlighted uncertainty around significant revenues from three third parties.
- Pippa Stevens, Eustance Huang and Yen Nee Lee contributed reporting to this story.