Global shares edge up ahead of key earnings - while concerns simmer over surge in Covid cases

Global shares edge up ahead of key earnings - while concerns simmer over surge in Covid cases
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 07, 2018 in New York City Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Global shares edged higher on Wednesday ahead of key earnings releases.
  • Concerns about rising delta-variant cases eased as investors bet on vaccination rollouts.
  • Oil prices rebounded from a decline sparked by OPEC+ striking a supply deal last weekend.

Global shares edged up ahead of key earnings releases in the US and Europe on Wednesday as investors' concerns about surging delta-variant cases faded into the background.

US futures inched higher on Wednesday ahead of earnings releases from industry heavyweights including Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, and Coca-Cola. Dow Jones futures were last up 0.54%, while S&P futures had risen by 0.39% and Nasdaq futures had climbed by 0.08% as of 4:13 a.m. ET. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq recovered on Tuesday from Monday's sell-off as cyclicals, led by capital goods, consumer services and banks, moved higher.
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"Much of Wall Street held onto optimism that the cyclical rotation is not dead, just deferred and that the theme of recurring fresh record highs will eventually continue once this latest wave COVID concerns ease," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, commented.

"Don't count out cyclical stocks as they could thrive on a lower interest rate environment and an extended economic growth outlook thanks to expectations for more fiscal support from the Biden administration," he continued.

The yield on the US 10-year Treasury note was last at 1.24%, up by 1.7 basis points. As concerns about the spread of the delta variant eased, so did investor concern about rising inflation.
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European markets opened higher on Wednesday as key earnings were released from major companies including pharmaceutical company Novartis, Dutch semiconductor producer ASML, auto manufacturer Daimler, and software firm SAP.

Investors are awaiting the European Central Bank meeting taking place on Thursday. Many are expecting that further economy-stimulating policies such as bond purchasing will be announced by policymakers. Soaring COVID-19 cases, a delayed vaccine rollout in the Eurozone, and resulting lockdown restrictions delayed hopes of an imminent economic recovery. The DAX was last up by 0.89%, while the Euro Stoxx 50 had gained 1.46% and London's FTSE 100 had risen by 1.54%.
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Concerns about rising COVID-19 cases eased as investors focused on global earnings releases.

"In the case of the likes of the UK and US where vaccination levels are much higher, markets are banking that the vaccine wall holds back the virus enough not to overwhelm the respective healthcare systems of both countries," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC markets, commented.

In Asia however, unequal vaccination efforts and skyrocketing COVID-19 cases resulted in a mixed trading session. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed 0.58% up, while the Shanghai Composite had gained 0.73% at the end of Wednesday's trading session. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lagged behind, closing 0.04% down.
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Oil prices continued to make up for the losses experienced earlier in the week, with Brent crude breaking the $70 mark in intraday trading on Wednesday. Brent crude was last up 1.25%, with each barrel valued at $70.22, while WTI crude had gained 1.28% and was trading at $68.06 per barrel.

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