Asian markets cautious ahead of major corporate earnings

24 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

HONG KONG: Stocks were mixed in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors move cautiously ahead of a deluge of corporate results later in the week.

With all markets now open again after an extended Easter break, many fluctuated in morning trade but rallied by the afternoon, report agencies.

Tokyo stocks ended marginally up for a third straight session, with profit-taking before 10 days of holidays in Japan weighing on the market.

Seoul, Sydney and Mumbai gained while Shanghai and Singapore were down. Hong Kong closed flat.

Investors are waiting for a number of major earnings releases expected this week, including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and auto maker Tesla.

"Some of the world's biggest technology companies are reporting earnings this week as well as a raft of the big European banks," Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, said in a note to clients. "Investors will be hoping for some better-than-expected results from both groups to keep the topside momentum in global equities, however if the data starts to show a significant slowing across these key industries then expect both stocks and risk trades to start to come under some heavy pressure."

Aerospace giant Boeing will report earnings on Wednesday for the first time since a deadly Mar 10 plane crash plunged the company into crisis mode.

Financial analysts have already slashed their 2019 profit forecasts after Boeing announced earlier in April it was cutting its monthly production of the 737 by about 20 per cent.

In early morning trade in Europe, London climbed while Frankfurt and Paris fell slightly. Separately, Sri Lankan stocks plunged by 2.6 per cent - their biggest drop in four years - as the Colombo Stock Exchange reopened for trading after terror attacks on Easter Sunday killed more than 300 people.

While equity traders were generally cautious, oil prices continued their rally on Tuesday, jumping to near six-month highs after the US cracked down on Iranian oil exports.