FTSE zig-zags down

The FTSE opened with a bit of a spring in its step after an extended holiday weekend but then zig-zagged its way down in the first hour of trading

Downtrend 4

The FTSE opened with a bit of a spring in its step after an extended holiday weekend but then zig-zagged its way down in the first hour of trading. The good mood caused by the slowdown in new corona cases in Europe and supported by better-than-expected Chinese trade data evaporated in the face of lock downs, social distancing and travel restrictions even as some European countries are beginning to loosen some of the worst restrictions.

UK politicians made it very clear over the Easter weekend that the UK high street will remain closed for some time yet causing companies like fashion retailer Next to go to plan B, that is, restart some of their online sales and associated warehousing and distribution.

The new coronavirus realities are biting European car markets badly, particularly their sales in China where demand for expensive foreign cars had already started ebbing late last year. Renault SA is now pulling out from passenger car sales in China and will instead focus on light commercial vehicles and electric cars.

Oil lower as OPEC+ cut fails to convince

Both crude oil prices and the oil majors' share prices are sliding this morning. The long-awaited output cut agreed by OPEC and Russia before the weekend failed to significantly change the tone in the oil market as the agreed reductions were far from big enough to balance out the current surpluses of crude oil.

Beware, earnings season!

Wall Street is bracing itself for one of the toughest earnings seasons ahead which will start with reports from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo later today. Most companies are already pulling their previous earnings guidance but are not yet providing assessments of the full corona damage. Investors will look for companies to clarify where they see income and dividends after the lock downs in the US have been lifted and normal post pandemic life resumes.

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