ES's Edge Higher; Gains Limited After Weak Japanese Growth

Investing.com - European stock markets edged higher Tuesday, as investors balanced more corporate earnings and further progress for the U.S. stimulus package with disappointing Japanese growth.

At 4:05 AM ET (0905 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.1% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.1% and the U.K.'s FTSE index climbed 0.2%.

European equity markets have struggled to continue Monday’s rally to any great degree Tuesday as economic news out of Japan disappointed, as the country's economy expanded at a slower-than-initially-reported pace in October-December, growing 2.8% on the quarter, versus a preliminary 3.0% gain.  A further sharp drop in Chinese stocks - despite the intervention of state-owned funds to prop up prices - also soured the mood.

Back in Europe, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said Monday that risks to the U.K. economy remain tilted to the downside.

This brings the revised fourth-quarter Eurozone GDP growth figures, due later in the session, into focus, with the region hard hit by Covid-related restrictions during that period.

In the corporate sector, Continental (DE:CONG) stock slumped over 6% after the German car parts manufacturer forecast a lower profit margin than expected for the coming fiscal year, due partly to the global shortage of semiconductors that has pushed up prices for a key input into many of its products.

Vivendi (OTC:VIVHY) stock dropped 0.5% after the French media giant faced a claim for 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in damages, after a group of investors alleged the company made false financial statements during a merger deal two decades ago. Vodafone  (LON:VOD) stock rose by a similar amount after it set the price range for its mast business, Vantage Towers, which is due to start trading in Frankfurt next week.

On the flip side, one of the success stories of the Covid era, Domino’s Pizza (LON:DOM) saw its stock rise over 8% after launching a 45 million pounds ($62 million) share buyback program as profits climbed. 

Across the Atlantic, the Biden’s administration’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief is set to be taken up by the House of Representatives by “Wednesday morning at the latest,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

This follows the Senate passing the package on Saturday. Once the bill is passed by the House of Representatives, it will then make its way to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

Oil prices edged higher Tuesday, continuing Monday's early gains, with traders turning their focus onto the release of U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day.

Fears of supply disruption from Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter, after a combined drone and missile attack on some of its facilities by Yemen-based forces saw Brent spike above $70 a barrel Monday. However, there was limited impact and prices ended the day lower.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% higher at $65.50 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.8% to $68.78. 

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 1.4% to $1,700.70/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.4% higher at 1.1896.

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