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European markets edge higher with earnings, data and vaccines on the radar – CNBC

european-markets-edge-higher-with-earnings,-data-and-vaccines-on-the-radar-–-cnbc

LONDON — European markets were slightly higher on Wednesday morning as investors monitor economic data and corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 inched 0.1% above the flatline in early trade, with basic resources adding 1.1% while telecoms slid 0.7%.

Stocks in Europe received a mildly positive hangover from Asia-Pacific, where Chinese tech shares listed in Hong Kong bounced on Wednesday after 12 major companies signaled compliance with antitrust laws.

Stateside, futures tied to the major indexes were little changed in early premarket trade after the S&P 500 closed at a new record high. Investors stateside will be looking out for some major earnings releases on Wednesday, with banking giants JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo all due to report.

U.S. health authorities on Tuesday recommended pausing the distribution of Johnson & Johnson‘s Covid-19 vaccine after six women under the age of 50 developed rare blood clots after getting the inoculation. Johnson & Johnson announced that it would delay the vaccine’s rollout in Europe, while South Africa also suspended its use.

Back in Europe, Credit Suisse told investors on Tuesday that $2.3 billion worth of its loans is exposed to ongoing uncertainties surrounding supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital.

Hawkish Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane will step down from his various roles with the central bank after its June Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Bank announced Tuesday.

On the earnings front, French luxury goods group LVMH posted a sharp rebound in first-quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday, bolstered by Chinese and American demand for Louis Vuitton handbags and Dior products. LVMH shares gained 2.9% in early deals.

German software giant SAP slightly raised its 2021 revenue outlook on Tuesday after first-quarter earnings showed robust progress in cloud sales, sending shares 4.2% higher to top the Stoxx 600.

Compatriot plastics company Covestro also raised its profit outlook following improvement in margins, which saw its stock add 2%.

British supermarket chain Tesco reported a 14.7% fall in annual profit before the bell, though sales remained resilient. Tesco shares slid 2.3%.

Meanwhile, budget airline EasyJet said it expects a fiscal first-half headline loss before tax of between £690 million ($950.6 million) and £730 million, but projected an uptick in flights from late May. EasyJet shares added 2.9%.

On the data front, euro zone industrial production figures for February are due at 10 a.m. London time.

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