Europe stocks shine but US mixed as Netflix plunges

·4-min read
Netflix shares tumbled 36 percent after the company revealed its ranks of subscribers shrank in the first quarter of this year (AFP/Robyn Beck) (Robyn Beck)

European stocks rose Wednesday as investors tracked corporate earnings and developments in the Ukraine conflict, while US stocks ended mixed and Netflix shares tumbled after the streaming giant reported a drop in subscribers.

Oil prices slid further after having slumped the previous day on demand concerns.

"The upbeat market mood, which helped Wall Street close firmly higher yesterday, has followed through into Europe," City Index senior market analyst Fiona Cincotta told AFP.

Frankfurt won 1.5 percent and Paris rose 1.4 percent, aided by news of a return to growth in eurozone industrial output in February.

London added 0.4 percent, held back by mining shares that were penalized following disappointing performance by Rio Tinto due to the pandemic and production issues.

Europe equities and oil had dropped Tuesday as Moscow launched its eastern offensive in Ukraine and after the IMF slashed its 2022 global economic growth forecasts by 0.8 percentage points, largely over inflationary concerns linked to the war and the pandemic.

"Whilst the Russian war remains a key driver in the markets, the bad news has been priced in for now," Cincotta said.

"Instead, some areas of optimism are arising with banks outperforming after the ECB (European Central Bank) soothed nerves with news that all big banks in the eurozone can withstand Russian write-offs," she added.

- Netflix 'shocker' -

Across the Atlantic, Wall Street had a mixed session, with the Dow seeing a decent gain but the Nasdaq dropping more than a point thanks to Netflix, which had released disappointing earnings following the close Tuesday.

The streaming giant plunged just over 35 percent after it announced its first drop in quarterly subscriptions in a decade, blaming the erosion to the suspension of its service in Russia due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"There (are) no two ways to look at it, Netflix was a shocker and is likely to take the wind out of the Nasdaq's recent rally, or at least put it on pause," Cincotta said.

The tech-rich index closed 1.2 percent lower.

"That said, broadly speaking earnings season has been reasonably solid so far, economic data hasn't revealed any major cracks either, which is helping to keep risk sentiment buoyant," she added.

Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said that the slump in Netflix shares "appears to be prompting a significant de-risking in the more highly valued areas of the US market."

In Asia trading, concerns about China's economy hit trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Shanghai's main stock index was Asia's biggest faller, losing 1.4 percent as the People's Bank of China (PBoC) kept key lending rates unchanged amid uncertainty over the impact of ongoing Chinese Covid restrictions.

Hong Kong -- which plummeted on Tuesday over concerns about Beijing's ongoing tech-sector crackdown -- also ended down.

"PBoC policymakers realize the futility of cutting rates during a lockdown as policies incentivizing lending will have a minimal short-term positive impact on activity so long as mobility restrictions remain in place," noted independent analyst Stephen Innes.

- Key figures around 2055 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 35,160.79 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,459.45 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.2 percent at 13,453.07 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.7 percent at 3,896.81 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,629.22 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.5 percent at 14,362.03 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.4 percent at 6,624.91 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.86 percent at 27,217.85 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.4 percent at 3,151.05 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.4 percent at 20,944.67 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0850 from $1.0788 late on Tuesday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 127.84 yen from 128.91 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3065 from $1.2998

Euro/pound: UP at 83.03 pence from 82.99 pence

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 percent at $107.32 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $102.56 per barrel


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