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US, European shares rise as mixed earnings; euro dives to lowest since 2017

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FILE PHOTO – A stock broker works at Frankfurt’s stock exchange as markets react on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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WASHINGTON/LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) – Major US and European equity indexes rose in choppy trade on Wednesday, and the euro fell into its weakest since 2017 after Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland and investors worried more about the region’s economy.

Wall Street rose, rebounding the day after a rout drove the Nasdaq to its lowest close since December 2020.

The dollar continued its surge, on course for its biggest monthly gain since January 2015 as expectations mounted that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates aggressively in coming months and the US economy will be stronger than the euro zone.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 113.79 points, or 0.34%, to 33,353.97; the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 24.36 points, or 0.58%, to 4,199.56; and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 77.51 points, or 0.62%, to 12,568.25 by 11:14 EST (1514 GMT).

Strong earnings reports boosted US stocks, with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) jumping over 6% and Visa Inc (VN) surging over 8%.

Some of Wall Street’s biggest names have reported results this week, with investors seeking a counterweight to the deluge of negative news that has pounded stocks. read more

Google-parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) fell 3.6% as slowing YouTube ad sales pushed quarterly revenue below expectations. Boeing Co (BA.N) dropped 8.8% after it disclosed $1.5 billion in abnormal costs from halting 777x production.

European shares rose, boosted by commodity stocks, though gains were limited as Russian energy giant Gazprom halted the gas supplies and German consumer morale sank.

The Euro STOXX 600 (.stoxx) was up 0.45%, while Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI) eased 0.04%. Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE) climbed 0.58%.

European corporate earnings were mixed. Credit Suisse reported another quarterly loss and Deutsche Bank alert the Russia-Ukraine could hurt annual earnings. read more

Russia cut the gas flow to Bulgaria and Poland for rejecting its demand to pay in roubles, taking direct aim at European imported. This led investors to sell euros and snap up US dollars. read more

MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets (.MIWD00000PUS) rose 0.03% to 655.2. Emerging markets stocks (.MSCIEF) fell 0.6%.

US Treasury yields slid as data suggested trade dented economic growth last quarter and investors hopes about the “restrictive” policy the Fed will pursue next week to combat inflation.

The US trade shortage in goods widened to a record in March, the Commerce Department said. Trade has subtracted from gross domestic product growth for six straight quarters, the longest such stretch since the beginning of 2016. read more

The euro dropped as low as $1.0512, its weakest against the dollar since Mary 2017. Analysts cited the war in Ukraine and growing concerns that the bloc’s economy will fall into recession this year.

“The euro’s blatant inability to rally on hawkish comments by European Central Bank members means lingering vulnerability to an external environment negatively affected by an ever-concerning situation in Ukraine and generalized USD strength,” ING FX strategists wrote in a note to clients.

The dollar index measuring the greenback against a basket of rivals, hit a five-year high.

“The US dollar benefits from the prospect of an ongoing flight to safety liquidity bid,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of G10 FX strategy at CIBC.

Euro vs US dollar
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CHINESE REBOUND

There was more selling in Asia, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS.) down 0.82% after hitting its lowest since mid-March. Tokyo’s Nikkei (.N225) fell 1.17%.

Australian shares (.AXJO) lost 0.78% as inflation hits a 20-year high, bringing interest rate rises closer. read more

Battered Chinese stocks (.CSI300) bucked the trend, gaining almost 3% as data showed faster profit growth at industrial firms in March than a year earlier. read more

The previous session, China stocks fell to their lowest in two years on fears that persistent COVID lockdowns would hurt economic activity and global supply chains. read more

Russia’s move to halt gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria sent oil and gas prices higher, though not by much.

Brent crude futures were last up 0.12% to $105.12. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 0.13% to $101.57. read more

Elsewhere in commodities, spot gold prices fell 1.1%, under pressure from the stronger dollar.

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Additional reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor and Joice Alves; Editing by John Stonestreet, Mark Heinrich and David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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