UPDATES with US closing, date CHANGES
Global stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors were hit by mixed economic news and a rise in European natural gas prices that later reversed.
European gas prices jumped to a six-month high, fueling recession fears as the region faces the prospect of rationing following supply cuts from Russia amid the Ukraine war.
But prices retreated later in the day, as did oil prices, which fell for a third day, falling nearly three percent to their lowest level since late January amid prospects of an influx of new supply, as well as fears that demand will decrease due to declines or slow growth in major economies such as China.
In Europe, the Dutch TTF benchmark natural gas price rose at one point to 250 euros per megawatt hour, the highest level since early March, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but at the end of US day, the price fell to 223.75, below Monday’s closing level.
Rising gas prices would likely push European nations into recession, affecting demand for other goods such as oil.
“Some concern is growing over the dim outlook for global growth as economies slow around the world, pushing oil prices lower in anticipation of weaker demand,” said senior analyst Susannah Streeter of investments and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Signs that Iran is moving towards a nuclear deal with world powers add to downward pressure on energy prices, with a deal seen as allowing the country to restart oil sales on the market worldwide
Analysts said Tehran could provide 2.5 million barrels a day, giving a much-needed shot in the arm to supplies, which have been hit by sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Libya has also boosted output, helping prices fall to six-month lows and erasing gains seen after the start of the Ukraine war.
But analysts warned that there could still be a way to reach a deal with Iran, due to the upcoming US congressional elections.
U.S. stocks turned around the market on Tuesday, ending the day mixed after bouncing for most of the session, as investors digested solid earnings from retail companies but disappointing housing data.
Stocks started the day in decline after data showed new U.S. homebuilding in July, but were boosted when Walmart reported a jump in revenue, and the retail giant also said the his annual profit would not be as bad as he predicted three weeks ago.
“We can’t say that Walmart had extraordinary results, but it was better than expected. In general, Wall Street was too pessimistic,” Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services told AFP.
Shares in the global retail giant rose more than five percent.
European shares advanced despite dismal survey data from Germany, with the relatively weak euro and pound gaining.
West Texas Intermediate: Down 2.7 percent at $87.00 a barrel
Brent North Sea crude: Down 2.6 percent at $92.61 a barrel
New York – Dow: UP 0.7% to 34,152.01 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.2% to 4,305.2 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 0.2% at 13,102.55 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4% to 3,805.22 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4% to 7,536.06 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX: UP 0.7% to 13,910.12 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.3% to 6,592.58 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: PLA at 28,868.91 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: Down 1.1 percent at 19,830.52 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.1% to 3,277.88 (close)
Euro/Dollar: UP at $1.0166 from $1.0166 on Monday
Pound/Dollar: UP to $1.2092 from $1.2055
Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.04 cents from 84.29 cents
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 134.21 yen from 133.33 yen