European stocks fell Tuesday as sentiment in global markets was weighed down by Russia’s ongoing incursion into Ukraine. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.3%, erasing some of its earlier losses. Basic materials fell 2% to lead the losses, while media stocks gained 1.8%. Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials were held again Tuesday in an attempt to reach a solid ceasefire and find room for compromise between Russia and Ukraine’s demands.
The S&P 500 rose for the first time in four days Tuesday as oil prices fell further below $100 and wholesale inflation came in lower than expected. Technology stocks led the rebound after recent losses. Microsoft and Netflix each rose 3.8% after Wall Street analysts reiterated their overweight ratings. Disney and McDonald’s gained 4% and 2.8%, respectively. The Federal Reserve opened a key two-day meeting Tuesday, and investors expect a quarter-point rate hike to be announced today.
Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly higher this morning, although mainland Chinese markets struggled to rally amid the resurgence of covid in the country. In morning trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 3.03% as shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent rose more than 8%, while life insurer AIA was up 2.41%. On Tuesday, the Hang Seng had fallen nearly 6% to close at its lowest level since February 2016. Meanwhile, China is struggling with the worst covid outbreak since the pandemic peaked in 2020, and major cities are cutting back on business activities
H&M sales rise, but stock slips on worries about Ukraine fallout
H&M on Tuesday reported a 23% rise in first-quarter sales, in line with market expectations. The world’s second-largest fashion company is trying to build on its recovery from the COVID -19 pandemic. H&M’s net sales in the first fiscal quarter from December to February, its seasonally weakest, rose 18% in local currency to 49.2 billion crowns ($5.13 billion), compared with an average forecast of 49.1 billion crowns by analysts polled by Refinitiv. H&M earlier this month temporarily closed its stores in Russia, which accounted for 4% of group sales last quarter, joining a growing list of international companies avoiding the country because of the incursion in Ukraine.
Volkswagen says high demand is helping its EVs turn a profit
Volkswagen said Tuesday that several of its battery-electric models, including the Porsche Taycan, are already sold out for 2022 and that high consumer demand is helping its electric car efforts become as profitable as its internal combustion engines sooner than expected. Volkswagen’s share of the Chinese electric car market is still relatively small, but it is growing fast. Electric car deliveries in China quadrupled last year to nearly 93,000, and VW expects that number to double again by 2022. VW is also expanding its global charging network. The company says it has a total of 10,000 fast-charging points in the U.S., China and Europe, and plans to increase that number to about 45,000 in all three regions by 2025.