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International Market Update
- European stock markets closed slightly lower Monday as global markets tracked developments in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended down 0.2%, with banks leading the losses, down 4.4%, as a result of the new sanctions. The performance of individual stocks was heavily influenced by the conflict on Monday, while defence companies rose sharply in early trading.
- U.S. stocks were divided in volatile trading Monday as investors watched developments related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including a new set of sanctions by the U.S. and its allies. Defence stocks such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman rose 6.7% and 7.9%, respectively, while bank stocks came under pressure. Treasury bond yields were sharply lower across the curve. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note last traded at 1.83%, down 15 basis points from the previous day.
- Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher this morning as investors focused on the changing situation in Russia and Ukraine. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.44%. According to a Reuters poll, the Reserve Bank of Australia will meet today but is not expected to raise interest rates until the third quarter. In South Korea, markets are closed Tuesday for a holiday. Chinese tech giant Baidu is expected to announce its fourth quarter results late this evening in Asia.
In International news
Zoom issues disappointing first-quarter and full-year revenue forecast
Zoom on Monday issued weaker-than-expected revenue guidance for its first quarter and full fiscal year. Shares of the video chat software maker, which reported its fourth-quarter results, initially fell as much as 13% before recovering. Adjusted earnings were $1.29 per share versus $1.06 per share as expected by analysts, Refinitiv said. Zoom’s revenue rose 21% from the same period a year ago, which ended Jan. 31. That’s a slowdown from the 35% growth in the previous quarter, it said in a statement. Net income rose 88% to $490.5 million in the quarter as gross margin increased to 76% from 74.2% in the previous quarter. For the current fiscal year, the company expects revenue of $4.53 billion to $4.55 billion, representing growth of 10.7%. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected a higher figure: $4.71 billion.
Energy giant Shell ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom
Shell said Monday it will end an “equity partnership” with Gazprom, a Russian state energy company, amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Shell’s announcement came a day after rival BP announced it was divesting its 19.75% stake in Rosneft, another Russian-controlled oil company. Meanwhile, the U.S. – along with other countries – has tightened sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Shell said it had about $3 billion in “long-term assets” through its Gazprom ventures at the end of 2021, noting that exiting those investments “will impact the carrying value of Shell’s Russia assets and result in impairments.”