Commodities Surge, Tesla Earnings, Durable Goods - What's Moving Markets

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Commodities Surge, Tesla Earnings, Durable Goods - What's Moving Markets
Credit: © Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith -- Industrial and agricultural commodities prices hit multiyear highs in sync, albeit for different reasons. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) is exported to report a 66% rise in revenue after the close, but stocks are seen opening quietly ahead of megacap tech earnings and the Federal Reserve meeting later this week. Durable goods orders for March are due. The EU is getting ready to let U.S. tourists back in, and oil falls amid concerns that India's growing Covid-19 crisis won't be reflected in this week's meeting of OPEC and other major exporters. Here's what you need to know in financial markets on Monday, April 26th.

1. Commodities lifted by recovery hopes, weather issues

Copper prices hit their highest in 10 years, while Soybeans , Wheat and Corn traded near their highest in eight years as the post-pandemic tide of liquidity continued to lift practically every boat in sight.

Copper has been rallying all year but buying has strengthened in recent weeks in anticipation of demand from the automotive industry, whose transition to electric vehicles has accelerated this year.

Grain futures, meanwhile, are at their highest in eight years, due more to short-term supply concerns. Another cold snap across much of the U.S. has delayed crop planting in various regions, something likely to lead to reduced harvests.

2. India’s Covid crisis worsens

India reported its fifth straight day of record new infections and deaths from Covid-19, as a nationwide surge in the coronavirus overwhelmed an under-resourced healthcare sector.

The country recorded over 350,000 new cases and 2,812 deaths on Monday, and many analysts estimate that both figures are significantly under-reported, especially in the country’s poorer rural regions. Reports of hospitals running out of oxygen for ventilating patients in intensive care have proliferated.

However, the country’s financial markets bounced on Monday, having moved to a new equilibrium over the course of a new week. The benchmark Nifty 50 index closed 1.0% higher while the rupee rose 0.3% against the dollar.

3. Stocks set to open quietly; Tesla earnings, Fed eyed; Durable goods data due

U.S. stock markets are set to open in muted fashion later, ahead of another barrage of earnings and the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting in the course of the week. Durable goods orders for March heads a thin data calendar.

By 6:15 AM ET (1015 GMT), both the Dow Jones Futures and S&P 500 futures contracts were effectively unchanged, while the Nasdaq 100 futures contract was down a quarter of a percent.

Tesla heads the day’s earnings calendar but it only reports after the closing bell. It’s expected to report some 74c a share in earnings, and $10.42 billion in revenue, up over 66% from a year ago. Check Point Software (NASDAQ: CHKP ) earlier reported a modest beat of expectations for both earnings and revenue.

4. EU prepares to let U.S. tourists back in; HK, Singapore to launch travel corridor

There was better news on the Covid-19 front as regards international travel. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the New York Times that the EU intends to allow fully-vaccinated U.S. travelers into the region, something that could give a boost both to U.S. airlines and payments companies, and Europe’s battered tourism industry.

The EU has had a ban on non-essential arrivals from outside the bloc for a year. The report came on the eve of Italy, a major tourism destination, easing some of its Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Elsewhere, Singapore and Hong Kong agreed to launch a travel corridor between their two cities from May 26, due to easing concerns about Covid-19 transmission.

The news wasn’t all good, however. German business expectations unexpectedly weakened, according to the closely-watched Ifo survey, against the backdrop of a new nationwide regime for restrictions on business and social activity that came into force on Saturday.

5. Oil slumps on India demand worries ahead of OPEC

Crude oil prices weakened on concerns that the spiraling problems in India will stop the drawdown of global inventories, delaying the market’s return to balance.

Reuters cited analyst estimates that the lockdowns in India could depress demand there by 300,000 barrels a day. The question is whether the world’s major exporters will delay or slow their projected increase in output to take account of this. OPEC’s Joint Technical Committee of experts just started their meeting, which is supposed to end with a formal recommendation to ministers on output policy.

The so-called ‘OPEC+’ bloc currently intends to raise output by some 2 million barrels a day over the second quarter.

By 6:15 AM ET, U.S. crude futures were down 1.8% at $61.01 a barrel, while Brent crude futures were down 1.8% at $64.22 a barrel.

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