Apr 23, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Oil is adding to yesterday’s gains, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for June delivery trading above $66 this morning while Brent crude was also higher. The move comes in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to end waivers on the ban of Iranian oil exports in an attempt to increase pressure on the Tehran regime. For oil traders, it’s a cue to reprise levels hit when Iranian sanctions were first introduced.
Less China stimulus
Officials in Beijing signaled they are less comfortable adding further stimulus to the economy, leading to losses over the past two days for some of the world’s hottest markets. The CSI 300, which had surged almost 40 percent this year on the back of policy loosening, fell further overnight after dropping 2.3 percent on Monday. The tumble comes even as optimism over a trade deal between China and the U.S. remains very high.
Twitter Inc. kicks off what is a big week for tech earnings today, with user-engagement growth among the key metrics analysts will be closely looking at. Profitability remains the main concern for Snap Inc., which also releases results later. Sales at eBay Inc. are not expected to set the world alight as the company continues to be in “reset” mode. Later this week, Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Tesla Inc. are all due to update investors on their first-quarter performance.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.3 percent higher as investors concentrated on hedging their positions ahead of the long Golden Week shutdown. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent lower at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time with energy stocks bucking the downward trend this morning. S&P 500 futures pointed to a slight loss at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.583 percent and gold was down.
Democrats remain split over whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in the wake of the publication of the Mueller report. So far the calls for impeachment have mostly been made by Democrat presidential candidates, while the party’s members in Congress are more likely to favor a series of hearings with Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr in order to keep the pressure on Trump.