Stocks on Tuesday were mixed as investors in the Asian market continued to look for economic stimulus from Beijing while remaining cautious regarding the outlook of the Greek financial future.
At the London afternoon fixing, gold decreased $4.15 to $1194.75, and copper futures were down 0.7% to reach $2.70. In oil, Dated Brent spot crude increased $0.54 to reach $58.47. WTI spot crude rose $1.22 to reach $53.13.
The Dollar Index was down as the USD decreased relative to the EUR, JPY, GBP, CHF, CAD and AUD.
United States Equities
Stocks in the US climbed as energy companies gained in line with the gradual recovery in oil prices. Retail sales were up 0.9% last month, after decreasing 0.5% in February. The change suggests that consumers are returning after stark winter weather adversely affected sales. The Dow Jones industrials increased 0.3%, the S&P added 0.2% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.2%.
JPMorgan advanced after reporting better than expected first-quarter results, but Wells Fargo fell after its earnings declined. Johnson & Johnson was virtually unchanged after first quarter profits dropped by 8.6% due to unfavorable exchange rates, a divestiture and higher tax rates. Intel's first-quarter revenue was lackluster due to weak demand for PCs that use the company's chips.
Over in Europe, equities markets were mainly lower as investor concerns over Greece's uncertain financial future continued to weigh heavy on overall market sentiment. Caution was multiplied in the wake of the upcoming European Central Bank meeting. The London FTSE increased 0.2%, while the French CAC dropped 0.7%, the DAX decreased 0.9% and the Swiss SMI lost 0.2%. The Italian MIB and Spanish Ibex lost 1.1% and 1.4% respectively.
In terms of individual stocks, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole lost. Alcatel Lucent soared after Nokia confirmed its plans to acquire the telecom equipment maker. Mining stocks were amongst the better performers. Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Antofagasta, Rio Tinto and Glencore finished higher on the day.
Asia Pacific Equities
Equities markets in the Asia Pacific region were mixed as profit taking in Hong Kong increased after eight consecutive sessions of gains. In China, the Shanghai Composite increased 0.3%, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index was down 1.6%.
In Japan, the Nikkei was virtually unchanged. Canon, Mazda Motor, Toyota Motor, Hitachi and Honda Motor edged up while Nikon, Panasonic and Nissan Motor dropped. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group rallied.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 and the All Ordinaries decreased 0.2%.