Market Buzz: Little news, little change

Market Buzz: Little news, little change
Russian floors opened mixed on Tuesday on a relatively neutral international outlook. Investors expect no big macroeconomic news on May 21, and stocks will likely see a continuation of yesterday’s lack of momentum.

Russian stocks climbed on Monday, opening the week with growth in the banking sector, while shares among oil firms fell. 

The MICEX added 0.4 percent to close at 1406.86, while RTS advanced 0.8 percent to 1417.05 points. VTB and Sberbank were the biggest gainers in the banking sector. Shares of Russian gas giant Gazprom also grew, adding 0.7 percent. 

Other oil firms saw a minor selloff on Monday: Lukoil shares dropped, along with Tatneft and Surgutneftegaz. E.On Russian also fell on Monday following Friday’s climb, on news of upcoming dividends that will include 100 percent of the company’s net profit.

European stock markets opened the week with gains on Monday. Automakers led the growth in Europe after Morgan Stanley revised its estimate on the sector to ‘overweight’ from ‘equalweight.’ The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3 percent to close at 309.77. The UK's FTSE 100 jumped to its highest close since September 2000, having advanced 0.5 percent to 6755.63. Germany's DAX added 0.7 percent to 8455.83, and France's CAC-40 grew by 0.5 percent to close at 4022.85.

US stocks closed slightly lower on May 20 after a Federal Reserve official hinted that the central bank will soon draw down its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying stimulus program. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said earlier that the stimulus program would continue until the labor market demonstrates significant improvement. Later, however, he downplayed his remarks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.12 percent lower to 15,336.05, while the broad-market S&P 500 index ended down 0.07 percent at 1,666.26. The Nasdaq Composite index also fell 0.07 percent to close at 3,496.43. 

Investors are eagerly anticipating Wednesday testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke on whether the US central bank intends to end its stimulus program soon.

Asian stocks fell Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.1 percent to 15,341.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.6 percent to 23,364.36. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.6 percent to 5,176.70. Indices in Mainland China were mixed. South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.1 percent to 1,979.93. Benchmarks in Singapore, Indonesia and New Zealand fell, while the Philippines advanced. 

Oil is currently trading mixed, with Brent down 0.01 percent and WTI adding a mere 0.05 percent.