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Europe close: Investors sit on their hands ahead of Fed meeting

Tue 27 April 2021 17:26 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Traders will be watching Fed chairman Jerome Powell for any hints on policy direction, especially around inflation which has pushed bond yields higher in recent months, sparking worries about rising borrowing costs.

"European markets have struggled to maintain recent gains today, with the US open driving weakness on both sides of the Atlantic," said IG senior market analyst Josh Mahony.

"The recent shift in emphasis for traders has seen vaccination and reopening concerns replaced with a raft of earnings announcements that should help shape expectations for wider sector performance over Q1. Yesterday's Tesla earnings brought a more tech-led focus, but that will only ramp-up further when we see earnings data from the likes of Alphabet and Microsoft.

BP shares dipped even after the company beat first quarter profit forecasts, driven by higher oil prices, and said it had met its debt cutting target a year early.

Investors were further cheered - at least initially - by news that the company would resume share buybacks worth $500m in the second quarter.

UBS stock dipped as it took an unexpected $774m hit from the collapse of Archegos Capital, offsetting a better-than-expected 14% rise in quarterly net profit.

Danish freight forwarder DSV Panalpina jumped 6.8% after it agreed to buy the logistics division of Kuwait's Agility Public Warehousing Co in a deal worth $4.1 billion.

Shares in software firm Aveva fell as chief executive Craig Hayman opted to return to the USA for personal reasons and would leave the group after three years.

HSBC shares were higher after first quarter profits more than doubled year on year, boosted by a $400m reversal in credit losses, profits across all major divisions, and with its European and US operations back in the black.

For the three months to March 31, the lender posted adjusted pre-tax profits of $6.4bn. That compared positively to the $4.3bn anticipated by analysts.

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