The FTSE 100 closed in the red this afternoon despite a strong day of results for heavyweights BP and HSBC, while US stocks were muted ahead of bumper tech earnings.
London’s blue-chip index closed down 0.26 per cent this afternoon as Aveva slumped nearly five per cent following its CEO’s exit.
The drop was limited by gains in HSBC, after the banking giant’s profit surged way beyond an analyst forecast to £4.16bn in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the mid-cap FTSE 250 fell by 0.64 per cent.
HSBC leads FTSE after strong results
HSBC led the FTSE 100’s biggest gainers today, ending the day up 4.18 per cent, after reporting profits of $5.8bn. Investors welcomed the bank’s improved economic outlook which led HSBC to release some of the cash it had set aside for bad loas.
Likely buoyed by HSBC’s impressive performance, Lloyds Banking Group is up 1.11 per cent ahead of its own results this week.
Industrial software firm Aveva is one of today’s biggest faller, dropping by 5.43 per cent, followed by Rolls-Royce which took a 2.07 per cent hit.
Meanwhile, hotel firm Whitbread and Next both dipped by 3.39 per cent and 1.68 per cent respectively.
Wall Street’s focus turns to tech earnings
It was a mixed open for Wall Street this afternoon as investors readied themselves for earnings reports from Microsoft and Google’s parent company Alphabet.
The benchmark S&P 500 edged 0.07 per cent lower while the Dow Jones shed 38 points, 0.11 per cent, to 33,943 points.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq initially jumped 0.87 per cent on the open before falling to trade down 0.24 per cent.
Tesla kicked off a busy week for tech earnings on Monday night, posting a record quarterly profit after a strong period of deliveries.
Total revenue soared 74 per cent year-on-year to $10.39bn in the first quarter, generating a $438m net profit.
Earlier this month Tesla recorded delivery of 184,800 vehicles globally in the first quarter, beating expectations after strong demand from China. Solid demand for its electric cars helped to offset the impact of the global shortage of chips.
This evening Microsoft is expected to report strong figures, with estimates pointing to a 17 per cent rise in reveue to $41bn with earnings per share at $1.78.
Any earnings miss could generate some profit taking, without however harming the solid positive trend in the Alphabet and Microsoft’s share prices,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote said.
“The biggest threat to the positive trend in technology stocks is the reflation trade, which would boost demand for cyclical stocks and move capital from the tech stocks towards the value names,” he added. “But it looks like that migration from growth to value is happening without too much harm for the tech stocks for now”.