Wall Street ends the month with a big loss

(New York) Markets ended April on a lackluster note as Wall Street plummeted as weak growth prospects and still-high inflation weighed on corporate earnings and share prices.

Updated yesterday at 5:08pm.

Friday in New York, after Thursday’s rebound in indices, Wall Street ended with a heavy loss. The Dow Jones Index fell 2.77%, the tech-heavy NASDAQ 4.17% and the S&P 500 3.63%.

During the month, the Dow Jones fell almost 5%. The NASDAQ is down more than 13% and is at its lowest level in a year. The S&P 500 posted its worst month since the pandemic began, falling almost 9% over the month.

For their part, the European stock markets reduced their gains compared to the opening. Paris took 0.39%, London 0.47%, Frankfurt 0.84% ​​and Milan 0.82%.

Over April as a whole, Paris lost 1.89%, Frankfurt 2.20% and Milan -3.07%. Only London remained slightly positive in April (+0.38%).

Conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, lockdowns in China, runaway inflation and rising interest rates in the United States weighed on investors.

On Friday, the PCE indicator, the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) preferred measure of inflation, rose 6.6% over the year and 0.9% over the month. It was a 40-year high.

In the eurozone, April inflation remained at an unprecedented 7.5% for a year.

“While energy prices have stopped rising recently, […] Food prices have continued to rise,” notes Ulrike Kastens, Economist Europe at DWS.

At the same time, growth in Western countries is showing signs of weakness.

After US first-quarter gross domestic product slipped Thursday, euro-zone growth slowed to 0.2% on Friday.

What complicates the task of central banks to control inflation without permanently disrupting economic activity, especially for the Fed, which meets next week.

Yields in the bond market started to rise again, getting closer to 3% at 2.92% for the US 10-year loan, up from 2.82% at the close the previous day.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index returned 359.06 points, or 1.7%, to close at 20,762.00 points. Since the beginning of April, it is down 5.4%, marking the fifth straight monthly decline.

On the foreign exchange market, the Canadian dollar traded at an average rate of 78.17 US cents, compared to 77.95 US cents the previous day.

Crude oil prices on the New York Commodity Exchange fell 67 cents to $104.69 a barrel, while natural gas rose 35.6 cents to 7.24 million BTUs.

Gold prices rose $20.40 to $1,911.70 an ounce and copper prices fell 2.5 US cents to $4.41 a pound.

Concerns about the American giants

Google, Meta, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon all posted impressive earnings this week, but their prospects didn’t excite investors.

Amazon reported a quarterly net loss for the first time since 2015, and the stock fell 14.05% to $2,485.63.

Apple, which on Thursday announced record iPhone sales for this time of year but fears restrictions in China and the suspension of its operations in Russia will weigh on its future results, fell 3.66% to $157.65.

Natwest concerned, BBVA jumps up

Among other published results, Natwest Bank posted a first-quarter profit increase, but the outlook is “severely clouded” by the risk of a fiscal default, according to an analyst. The stock lost 2.15%. Spanish bank BBVA rose 6.04% according to its results, followed by compatriot Santander (+2.18%).

In Germany, the judiciary searched the headquarters of Deutsche Bank (+0.04%) on Friday in a money laundering investigation.

China supported

On Friday, a call from senior Chinese officials for “healthy development” in the tech sector helped the Hong Kong Stock Exchange soar 4.01%.

The trend then spread to China-related stocks such as the Prosus fund (+9.01%) or luxury stocks (Kering +1.42) and NASDAQ-listed Chinese technology such as Alibaba (+11.07%).

On the side of oil, euro and bitcoin

Oil prices were disorganized due to a possible European embargo on Russian oil and gas.

North Sea Brent crude for delivery in June, the final day to be used as a benchmark contract, gained 1.62% to close at $109.34.

The barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI), also for delivery in June, lost 0.63% to end at $104.69.

On the stock side, ExxonMobil (-2.24%) and Chevron (-3.16%) also released results, with profits jumping on the back of higher prices.

The euro rallied after six consecutive down moves against the dollar. The European currency is up 0.69% at $1.0571 as of 18:40 GMT.

Bitcoin fell 3.74% to $38,399.

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