European stocks fell sharply Friday, capping another volatile week for markets that was marked by fears over the direction of central bank policy. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 1%, with mining stocks leading the losses with a 2.8% drop, while almost all sectors slipped into negative territory except retail and travel. Earnings were one of the main drivers of individual stock price performance on Friday. Dutch lighting company Signify saw its share price jump almost 11% following strong results.
U.S. stocks recovered by Friday’s close, ending a roller-coaster week driven by resurgent technology stocks. Shares of Apple jumped nearly 7% after stellar quarterly results drove stock prices higher. The company reported its strongest single quarter ever in terms of revenue, despite supply issues and the lingering effects of the pandemic. Major tech companies Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta and Google parent Alphabet all closed higher Friday.
Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed this morning – the last trading day of January – as markets in mainland China and South Korea are closed for the New Year holiday. Official data released Sunday showed that growth in Chinese factory activity slowed in January. The country’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 50.1 in January, just above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. The January reading compares with December’s 50.3.
Chevron’s fourth-quarter profit falls short of expectations
Shares of Chevron fell Friday after the company posted a mixed quarter despite rising oil and gas prices. Chevron earned $2.56 per share excluding items in the fourth quarter, while analysts had expected $3.12 per share, according to estimates from Refinitiv. Revenue, meanwhile, came in at $48.13 billion, above the $45.69 billion expected. For the full year, Chevron reported record free cash flow of $21.1 billion, while reducing debt by $12.9 billion. The oil giant earned a profit of $15.6 billion this year, compared with a loss of $5.5 billion in 2020. Chevron’s fourth-quarter results compare with a loss of one cent per share on an adjusted basis in the year-ago quarter and revenue of $25.25 billion.
U.S. bans telecom giant China Unicom over spying concerns
China Unicom is the latest Chinese telecommunications giant to be banned from the U.S. over “significant” national security and espionage concerns. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it had voted unanimously to revoke the company’s U.S. unit’s licence to operate in the United States. The company must stop providing telecommunications services in America within 60 days. The announcement comes after larger rival China Telecom had its licence to operate in the U.S. revoked in October.