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International Market Update
- European stock markets closed sharply lower Thursday after choppy trading as tensions remained high over the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 2% after opening up 0.5%. Utilities fell 3.5% to lead losses, while basic materials rose 0.8%. Societe Generale said Thursday that it would be able to cope with the elimination of its Russian business. The French lender said its exposure to Russia stands at 18 billion euros ($19.97 billion).
- U.S. stock markets slipped Thursday, led by the technology sector, as activity in energy and bond markets slowed and investors watched the war in Ukraine. Software was a weak spot for the market, with Okta and Snowflake plunging 8% and 15%, respectively, after their quarterly reports. Defensive stocks such as healthcare and utilities fared better. On the economic front, 215,000 claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. That was less than the 225,000 expected by economists, according to Dow Jones.
- Asian stocks traded lower this morning as a report of a burning nuclear power plant amid ongoing fierce fighting between Ukraine and Russian troops further rattled investors. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales in Australia rose 1.8 percent to A$32.491 billion in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. This follows a monthly decline of 4.4% in January. Total online retail sales were A$3.893 billion in January. On an annual basis, retail sales were up 6.4%.
In International news
Gap shares rise after retailer releases strong earnings forecast
Shares of Gap Inc. rose in after-hours trading Thursday after the apparel retailer issued a positive 2022 profit forecast despite rising inflation and logistical challenges. Gap posted a loss of $16 million, or 4 cents a share, for the three-month period ended Jan. 29, compared with net income of $234 million, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding costs related to strategic changes in its European business, Gap lost 2 cents a share, below the 14-cent loss analysts expected, according to data compiled by Refinitiv. Sales grew about 2% to $4.53 billion from $4.42 billion a year earlier. That beat estimates of $4.49 billion. Compared to 2019, however, Gap said sales fell 3%.
Grab shares fall after sales decline
Grab shares plunged 37% Thursday after Southeast Asia’s No. 1 ride-hailing and meal-delivery service posted a wider quarterly loss and a sharper-than-expected drop in revenue, blamed on promotional offers and higher driver premiums. Grab’s fourth-quarter revenue fell 44% to $122 million, well below the average analyst estimate of $167 million, according to data from Refinitiv. The loss widened to $1.1 billion, including costs related to Grab’s listing, compared with a loss of $635 million a year earlier. Revenue from the mobility division, which accounted for 86% of total revenue, fell 27% in the quarter.