European Shares May Drift Lower As Big Tech Earnings Disappoint

stockmarkets aug16 03feb23 lt

European markets may open lower on Friday, with technology stocks likely to come under selling pressure, after Apple, Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet all reported earnings that disappointed Wall Street.

Apple reported its worst holiday performance in four years, Amazon reported its least profitable holiday quarter since 2014 and Alphabet posted fourth-quarter revenue that fell below analysts' estimates.

Asian stocks traded mixed, with Chinese and Hong Kong markets falling sharply as investors awaited U.S. jobs and service sector activity data later in the day for any clues into the health of the world's largest economy.

Economists expect U.S. employment to increase by 185,000 jobs in January after an increase of 223,000 jobs in December. The jobless rate is expected to inch up to 3.6 percent from 3.5 percent.

The dollar rose broadly on easing global inflationary pressures while gold steadied after a steep sell-off in the previous session. Oil edged lower amid the dollar's recovery and uncertainty about the outlook for energy demand.

U.S. markets ended broadly higher overnight, as lower Treasury yields on the back of dovish comments from Fed Chair Powell and upbeat earnings from Facebook parent Meta Platforms boosted tech stocks.

In economic releases, a surprise decline in weekly jobless claims, increased productivity in the fourth quarter and higher unit labor costs raised cautious optimism that the economy could skirt a recession.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite soared 3.3 percent to reach a near five-month closing high and the S&P 500 jumped 1.5 percent while the Dow edged down 0.1 percent.

European stocks advanced on Thursday amid hopes that the global rate hiking cycle would end soon.

The pan European STOXX 600 jumped 1.4 percent as the ECB's comments didn't provide any new hawkish surprises and the Bank of England softened its stance on future tightening.

The German DAX rallied 2.2 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained 1.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.8 percent.

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