European markets rally; US stocks pull back from records

·3-min read
The IMF's improved assessment of the global recovery was among the positive economic news

European equities rallied Tuesday as the IMF raised its economic outlook and vaccination campaigns in the United States and elsewhere continued to pick up speed.

Stock indices in Frankfurt, London and Paris rose as dealers returned from a four-day Easter weekend, while Wall Street stocks finished modestly lower.

"A tremendous amount of optimism has been priced in as the US economy is poised to run very hot throughout the summer," senior market analyst Edward Moya at Oanda commented.

The latest upbeat figure was the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey which indicated that US job openings had surged to a two-year high in February, well above the level expected by most analysts.

The IMF offered a more positive outlook on the recovery, increasing its forecast for global growth to 6.0 percent this year from its prior 5.5 percent prediction following a flood of government spending, especially in the United States.

Meanwhile, markets digested news that the White House will shift its deadline for all adults to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines from May 1 to April 19 given rapid progress in the country's vaccine campaign.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to lift all Covid-related restrictions on businesses and fully reopen the state's economy by June 15 if the current pace of vaccinations continues.

All three major US indices finished lower, with the Dow and S&P 500 edging down from records the prior day.

- 'Spring in their step' -

Back in Europe however, markets "had a proverbial spring in their step as they returned from the Easter break," Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell noted.

Earlier in the day, stock markets had gained ground in many Asian markets, though Tokyo was lower as traders locked in profits following recent gains.

Oil prices advanced, partially reversing deep losses in the prior session after the OPEC+ group of crude suppliers announced plans to gradually boost output.

Among individual stocks, General Motors had another good session, rising 1.5 percent as it announced plans to build an electric Chevrolet Silverado, adding its popular pickup brand to its growing electric-auto portfolio.

US shares of Credit Suisse gained 0.9 percent following a disclosure the bank took a $4.7 billion hit from its links to troubled hedge fund Archegos Capital Management. The Swiss bank cut its dividend and announced the departure of two senior executives.

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 33,430.24 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,073.94 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.1 percent at 13,698.38 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.3 percent at 6,823.55 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 6,131.34 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.7 percent at 15,212,68 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,970.42 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.3 percent at 29,696.63 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 3,482.97 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1876 from $1.1813 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3823 from $1.3900

Euro/pound: UP at 85.89 pence from 84.99 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.73 yen from 110.18 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.0 percent at $62.74 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.2 percent at $59.33 per barrel

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