SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Shares were higher in Britain and Japan on Tuesday while most other major markets were closed for public holidays. The White House’s postponement of a decision on imposing hefty tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum products from some countries helped boost investor sentiment.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 7,529.65. Markets in France and Germany were closed. Futures augured a lackluster start on Wall Street. The future for the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent and the future for the Dow retreated 0.2 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent to 22,508.03 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5 percent to 6,015.20. Stock markets in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and most cities in Southeast Asia were closed for public holidays.
TRADE: The White House said Monday it would delay its decision to impose tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days, sidestepping a potential trade battle with Europe. The announcement comes ahead of the trade talks between U.S. and China later this week.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 67 cents to $67.90 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 47 cents to $68.57 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, declined 62 cents to $74.07 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.64 Japanese yen from 109.33 yen. The euro slipped to $1.2034 from $1.2075.
– Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, May 1:
1. Apple Reports Earnings
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) results due out after the market close will be today’s main event, as a busy week for earnings rolls along.
The world’s largest company by market cap is expected to report adjusted earnings of $2.70 per share for its fiscal second-quarter on revenue of $61.19 billion, according to analyst estimates.
More importantly, investors will be looking for details on sales figures for the iPhone X and whether demand for the company’s flagship device is flagging.
The company is expected to report iPhone shipments of just under 51 million over the three-month period that ended in March.
Apple shares rose nearly 2% on Monday, while the broader market declined, amid reports that the tech giant could announce a record-breaking boost to its stock buyback and dividend plan to soften the blow from weaker iPhone sales when it posts quarterly results.
The iPhone-maker’s stock has been slammed in recent weeks due to worries over slowing phone sales, losing around 10% from its all-time high in March.
Besides Apple, a slew of S&P 500 companies are also set to report results on Tuesday.
Before the market open, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Aetna (NYSE:AET), Cummins (NYSE:CMI), Under Armour (NYSE:UA), Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB) and Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL) will be the highlights.
After the close, joining Apple, will be Snap (NYSE:SNAP), Allstate (NYSE:ALL), Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ), Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD), Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) and Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC).
2. Federal Reserve Kicks Off Policy meeting
The Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting today, with a decision due Wednesday afternoon.
The U.S. central bank is not expected to take any action on interest rates, but will likely further encourage expectations that it will lift borrowing costs in June on the back of rising inflation and low unemployment.
The Fed currently forecasts another two rate rises this year, although an increasing number of policymakers see three as possible.
3. Dollar Rallies To 2018 Highs
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rallied to its highest levels of the calendar year, ahead of the Fed’s meeting and a fresh batch of economic data.
It was up around 0.4% at 91.97, after touching a high of 92.03, a level last seen on January 11.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield stood at 2.957%, staying below the 3%-threshold. It climbed to a more than four-year peak of 3.035% last week.
The dollar hit 12-week highs against the yen, with USD/JPY rising to 109.60.
Meanwhile, the euro sank to its lowest level since January 11, with EUR/USD last at 1.2037. The single currency continued lower amid reduced expectations that the European Central Bank will soon start scaling back its stimulus program.
4. U.S. Stock Futures Point To Weak Open
U.S. stock futures pointed to a weak open, as investors prepped for another busy day of earnings and economic data heading into a traditionally difficult month for financial markets.
U.S. stocks fell on Monday, giving up gains seen earlier in the session, as the telecommunications sector suffered a sharp pullback.
Elsewhere, in Europe, stocks inched higher, with UK equities driving the market action as most of the region’s markets were closed for the May Day holiday.
Earlier, in Asia, markets in the region closed mixed, though many bourses were shut for a public holiday.
5. Oil Pulls Back As Focus Shifts to U.S. Supply Data
Crude prices were lower, pulling back after rallying on worries that U.S. President Donald Trump may pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Investors now turned their attention to fresh data on U.S. commercial crude inventories to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise.
Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (2030GMT), amid forecasts for an oil-stock gain of around 1.2 million barrels.