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Wall Street ended little unchanged across the key indices on Friday, but down for the week as investors assessed mixed corporate earnings results against the increasing chance of a recession in the U.S. later this year. Shares in Proctor & Gamble (ASX:PG1) rose 3.5% on Friday after it reported a sales boost from higher prices introduced across the portfolio of consumer products. Albermarle (ASX:ALB), the world’s largest lithium producer, on the other hand tanked 10% after Chile said it would nationalise its lithium industry, a key operational region for Albermarle over the last 40-years.
Earnings season in the US has broadly kicked off in a very uneventful manner, with investors believing profits beating expectations are unsurprising as the expectations were set very low amid the high interest rates, and high-cost environment.
Over in Europe, markets closed higher as investors responded to corporate earnings results released in the region. German software giant SAP rose 5% on Friday after reporting higher revenue and operating profit that beat expectations, while Swiss building materials manufacturer Holcim also beat expectations for profits and revenue as well as raising its guidance.
Germany’s DAX rose 0.54% on Friday, the French CAC added 0.51% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 climbed 0.15% on Friday.
The local market closed almost half a percent lower on Friday as the miners and bankers weighed on the local bourse. A build up in port inventories of iron ore and lowered demand from Chinese steel mills caused a drop in the price of iron ore to a four-month low, which caused investors to sell out of materials stocks on Friday.
What to watch today: