Wall Street’s main indexes rose tepidly this afternoon as investors held their breath ahead of key US inflation data this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat, while the S&P 500 per cent gained 0.2 per cent at the open.
Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.4 per cent as Tesla’s shares rose 2.9 per cent after sales of its China-made electric vehicles surged 29 per cent in May.
Major tech stocks were trading slightly higher as investors digested the possible impact of a global plan to increase taxes on major multinational firms.
However, Wall Street has fallen into a lull this week after surging to record highs through a strong earnings season in May.
“It’s a very good and healthy pause the markets have taken right now and I would expect it to remain range-bound for now until any data that comes as a surprise,” said Sean O’Hara, president of Pacer ETFs.
“Investors, however, are still a little jittery about inflation as they try to figure out if it is still a supply side issue or a more systemic one.”
The FTSE 100 ended higher today, helped by gains in miners and travel and leisure stocks, while upbeat earnings from Intermediate Capital Group and British American Tobacco further lifted sentiment.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 per cent, while the domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index dipped 0.1 per cent, dragged by weakness in technology and industrial stocks.
Travel-related stocks climbed two per cent, with Flutter Entertainment, Compass Group, Just Eat Takeaway.com and InterContinental Hotels Group among the top gainers.
However, a report said Britain’s proposed 21 June lifting of lockdowns could be delayed by a fortnight as Covid-19 cases continue to mount.
“In news there’s nothing really to warrant this optimism for the travel sector but maybe people are looking through these events as short-term developments that eventually will sort themselves out and people will be able to travel again,” said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard.
“I think it’s a bit of a bet, but probably is the right one.”
After breaching the 7,000 mark in mid-April, the export-heavy FTSE 100 was on course to post a fifth month of gains as a gradual reopening from Covid-19 lockdowns sparks optimism around a faster economic recovery.
Miners including Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP rose between 0.1 per cent and one per cent.
Meanwhile, the mid-cap FTSE 250 rose by 0.1 per cent after hovering near record highs yesterday.
Around the world
Asian stocks reversed early gains today, with traders side lined ahead of US inflation data.
MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 0.3 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.4 per cent.
China’s benchmark CSI300 dropped more than 1.3 per cent as the index was weighed down by liquor makers.
Japan’s Nikkei inched down 0.2 per cent, as losses in market heavyweights offset gains in drugmakers.
Kyle Rodda, market analyst at IG, said there was a lack of catalysts for markets as investors were waiting on the side lines for meaningful news and data points.
“It’s been quiet. The primary concern of the market is inflation and central banks,” he said. “Overall we are seeing negative sentiments regarding risk assets.”