FTSE falls, GBP higher, metals and oil rally

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imageEconomy11 hours ago (Apr 27, 2021 16:38)

© Reuters.

Key Points

  • FTSE 100 closing price of 6,943.38, -0.28%
  • HSBC shares jump after earnings
  • Tesla falls despite record quarter, Bitcoin sales
  • Copper approaches record high

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 fell on Tuesday despite relatively strong earnings from heavyweights BP and HSBC, amid a mild global risk-off tone ahead of key risk events. Tomorrow sees the Federal Reserve announce its latest decision on interest rates while after-market today earnings from tech titans Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be in focus.

HSBC (LON:HSBA) shares were at the top of the FTSE 100 after the company reported better than expected profit in the first quarter. The bank also released $400mln it had previously set aside to cover expected credit losses from the pandemic.

Oil giant BP (LON:BP) saw its profit increase to $2.6bln, benefitting from a strong quarter of trading in natural gas amid the freezing temperatures seen across the US and in particular Texas. The company also said it would be buying back $500mln of shares.

WTI and Brent crude prices were higher ahead of the OPEC+ meeting, despite the continuing Covid crisis in India which reported another record day of cases yesterday. The members of the OPEC+ group are not expected to make any changes to their output plans and there have been suggestions that ministers will not even meet as previously scheduled, after agreeing to ease curbs last month.

Copper prices continue to march higher and are now trading close to the record levels seen in 2011.

“Marco-economic data continues to point to strong demand conditions for copper,” said CBA analyst Vivek Dhar in a research note. Copper is within touching distance of $10,000 per tonne on the LME.

GBP was marginally higher against both the EUR and USD, benefitting from the latest data from the Confederation of British Industry which showed the sharpest upturn in retail sales since 2018. GBP/USD traded above 1.3900 albeit in a tight range, while EUR/GBP held below 0.8700.

Cryptocurrencies were mostly higher, despite news that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) had sold around 10% of its Bitcoin holdings during the last quarter. The sale helped Tesla turn a profit in the quarter although shares still struggled at the open as the company’s profits stemmed from selling emissions credits and the Bitcoin sales. CEO Elon Musk later confirmed that he had not sold any of his personal Bitcoin holdings.

FTSE falls, GBP higher, metals and oil rally

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