Wall Street stocks ended higher for the first time in three days on Wednesday. Further signs of stabilization in oil prices coupled with some better-than-expected corporate earnings reports helped stocks to proceed to recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2%, the S&P 500 gained 2.3% while the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 2.7%. as a reminder, earlier this week, senators passed another coronavirus relief package worth nearly $500 billion to replenish funds for small businesses.
Today in Asia, stocks showed a cautious tone. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan rebounded from two-week lows but gained just 0.4% amid the lingering uncertainty over the outlook for the global economy amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
After a positive open, European equities trimmed gains and turned mixed following the dismal economic data out of the Eurozone. IHS Markit’s flash composite PMI for the bloc sank to 13.5, the lowest reading since the survey began in 1998. In March, the index had already recorded its biggest ever single monthly drop to 29.7. As a result, the pan-European Stoxx 600 reversed early gains to slip 0.2%.
As for corporate earnings, Credit Suisse posted a 75% jump in first-quarter net profit compared to the same period last year. The bank also set aside 568 million Swiss francs for potential credit losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite upbeat numbers, the lender’s stocks turned negative after a brief jump by 1.5%.
In currencies, EURUSD dipped to one-month lows around 1.0755. The common currency has accelerated the decline after the disappointing economic updates. Now, when the 1.08 handle turned into resistance, the prices could extend the fall to 1.0720 and even threaten the 1.07 handle.
Meanwhile, Brent crude bounced from record lows and continues its recovery attempts on Thursday. The futures have settled above $25 but struggle to regain the $27 handle. Some traders hope that OPEC+ countries will take additional measures to support the struggling market. However, it looks like Saudi Arabia and Russia will oppose this idea, at least at this stage. In the short term, crude oil prices could stay afloat and even exceed the $26 level.