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European markets close lower as travel and leisure stocks lead losses; Ocado up almost 10%

Staff | Reuters

This was CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European markets closed lower on Tuesday as investors await inflation data from both sides of the Atlantic due later in the week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index provisionally closed 0.6% lower, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Travel and leisure stocks led losses, down around 2.6%.

Shares of online food retailer Ocado jumped to the top of the Stoxx 600, closing nearly 10% higher after announcing last week that it had struck a deal with Turkish delivery business Getir to access its former U.K. customers.

Tuesday's session was light on the corporate earnings front, while Germany released wholesale price data.

Investors are continuing to weigh the prospects of a June rate cut by the European Central Bank after two key policymakers threw their weight behind the prospect on Monday.

The comments added to speculation that the ECB may move ahead of the Federal Reserve, which has grown more cautious in its assessment of the path for inflation. Investors are likely to closely monitor the euro zone's latest inflation data on Friday.

Stateside, the S&P 500 rose slightly on Tuesday as investors await inflation data due at the end of the shortened trading week for a better picture of the market's outlook. Meanwhile, in Asia-Pacific, markets were mixed as investors considered the outlook for global interest rates.

Europe stocks close lower

European stock markets closed lower on Tuesday, with the regional Stoxx 600 index falling 0.6% in its worst session since the end of April, according to LSEG data.

Major bourses closed in the red, with France's CAC 40 down 0.9% and Germany's DAX down 0.5%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.7%.

— Jenni Reid

ECB's Knot says monetary policy to ease 'soon' — but slowly

European Central Bank Governing Council member Klaas Knot said Tuesday it will "soon" be appropriate to move toward less restrictive monetary policy, but that easing must go "slowly" and "gradually" from there.

Knot, head of the central bank of the Netherlands, said during a speech in London that he has "increasing confidence inflation will return to target in a timely manner."

"Rates will slowly but gradually move into less restrictive levels," he said.

Markets are betting on a June interest rate cut from the ECB following firm signaling from policymakers, with just one further cut this year.

"The precise timing, speed and scale of easing will have to follow a data-dependent approach, with our projections and the labor market being a key ingredient," Knot said.

Recent data suggests wage growth will remain "bumpy" this year, Knot added, meaning the next round of ECB projections on growth and inflation in June will be crucial for determining the path ahead.

— Jenni Reid

Nasdaq eclipses 17,000 for first time

The Nasdaq Composite touched a new record in Tuesday's session. At one point, the tech-heavy index surpassed the 17,000 mark for the first time ever.

It comes near the end of a strong month, with the index rising more than 8% so far in May.

— Alex Harring

Oil prices higher

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as energy market participants closely monitored an upcoming meeting of some of the world's largest oil producers.

International benchmark Brent crude futures with July delivery rose 0.4% to trade at $83.39 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures with July delivery jumped 1.7% to trade at $79.01.

OPEC and non-OPEC partners, an influential energy alliance known as OPEC+, will hold a virtual meeting on June 2 to determine the group's production policy.

— Sam Meredith

S&P 500 opens modestly higher

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on May 24, 2024 in New York City. 
Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on May 24, 2024 in New York City. 

The S&P 500 was up slightly as the shortened trading week kicked off.

The broad index added just 0.2% shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.5%, while the Dow slipped 0.3%.

— Alex Harring

'Many more months' of positive inflation data needed before a rate cut, Fed's Kashkari says

The Federal Reserve should wait for significant progress on inflation before cutting interest rates, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari told CNBC Tuesday.

Asked what conditions were needed for the Fed to cut rates once or twice this year, Kashkari said: "Many more months of positive inflation data, I think, to give me confidence that it's appropriate to dial back."

He said the central bank could potentially even hike rates if inflation fails to come down further. "I don't think we should rule anything out at this point," Kashkari added.

Divergence has emerged among the major central banks on the outlook for interest rates, with the Fed — usually first to move — growing more hawkish amid still-high inflation.

— Karen Gilchrist

Stocks on the move: Ocado up 7.2%, Helvetia down 4.7%

An Ocado truck.
Mike Kemp | In Pictures | Getty Images
An Ocado truck.

Shares of online food retailer Ocado jumped to the top of the Stoxx 600, rising 7.2%, after announcing last week that it had struck a deal with Turkish delivery business Getir to access its former U.K. customers.

On the other end, Swiss insurance firm Helvetia fell 4.7%, with the insurance sector also moving lower.

— Karen Gilchrist

European stocks set to open mixed

European stocks are set to open mixed on Tuesday as U.K. markets reopen following Monday's public holiday.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was last seen opening 7 points lower at 8,327 points, France's CAC 40 up 17 points at 8,126, Germany's DAX up 20 points at 18,780 and Italy's FTSE MIB up 57 points at 34,899, according to IG data.

— Karen Gilchrist

CNBC Pro: Nvidia and more: Citi names its global stock picks to play the semiconductor boom

The global semiconductor industry is set to experience "groundbreaking changes," Citi said, naming stocks to play the theme."

"We believe semiconductor architecture will evolve towards the direction of memory and logic integration for AI computing," the investment bank's analysts noted.

Aside from Nvidia, Citi named five stocks to play the theme, and analysts give two of them at least 30% upside potential.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

CNBC Pro: Super Micro Computer shares were choppy after Nvidia earnings. Here's where analysts see it going

Super Micro Computer emerged as an investor darling early this year, as Wall Street unearthed the stock, driving it higher with gains that rivalled even Nvidia's.

The firm, which makes artificial intelligence systems and graphics processing unit servers, was the hot new AI play. Its fortunes are tied to Nvidia's, with which it has a partnership.

Super Micro's shares soared all the way up to a year-high in mid-March, but they have been volatile since then — diving in late April and selling off again in early May.

After Nvidia reported blockbuster earnings last Wednesday, Super Micro's shares were rocky again.

Where do the shares go from here? Here's what analysts from Wall Street sa

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

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