Stock markets end mostly lower after strong run

Economic news out of the eurozone is not good (AFP Photo/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

Global stock markets mostly fell on Tuesday as investors locked in profits from a strong recent run, with analysts saying that equity valuations had started to look too optimistic, prompting a reality check.

Dire corporate and economic news in the eurozone sparked selling in Europe. The Dow and S&P 500 also retreated ahead of a Federal Reserve policy decision, although the Nasdaq powered to its second straight record.

The Fed began its two-day meeting, the first since the US economy began to meaningfully reopen from the coronavirus shutdowns that froze much activity in March, April and part of May. The gathering also comes after Friday's surprisingly good jobs report.

Despite the better jobs data, analysts do not expect the central bank to change course from its aggressive stimulus.

Stocks have risen considerably from March lows as economies have begun reopening and as authorities enact unprecedented stimulus. Those gains have sparked questions about whether markets have risen too much.

There is a "disconnect between the record-breaking stock market rally and stretched valuations", OANDA analyst Edward Moya told AFP.

In Europe, a big French government package for the country's aviation industry meanwhile did little for the affected companies' share prices, analyst Neil Wilson said at trading site

"Some big names in France -- Airbus, Safran, Thales and Dassault -- turned sharply lower even as the French finance minister unveiled a 15 billion euro support plan for the aerospace industry," Wilson said.

In economic news, the Bank of France predicted the French economy would shrink by about 10 percent this year on the fallout from COVID-19.

In Europe's biggest economy Germany, exports tumbled 24 percent month-on-month in April to 75.7 billion euros ($85.5 billion), official data showed.

Tuesday's round of heavy European losses came after Tokyo ended a six-day winning streak.

Nevertheless, Asian equities mostly rose as long-running optimism over the reopening of economies eclipsed early profit-taking.

Seoul gained 0.2 percent despite intensifying geopolitical concerns after North Korea said it was severing all communication links with South Korea.

Oil prices retreated further on skepticism over a weekend deal to extend output cuts from key crude producing nations.

- Key figures around 2050 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.1 percent at 27,272.30 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.8 percent at 3,207.18 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.3 percent at 9,953.75 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 2.1 percent at 6,335.72 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.6 percent at 12,617.99 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 1.6 percent at 5,095.11 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.4 percent at 3,320.71 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 23,091.03 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.1 percent at 25,057.22 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 2,956.11 (close)

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.0 percent at $38.94 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.9 percent at $41.18 per barrel

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1336 from $1.1294 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.73 yen from 108.43 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2729 from $1.2724

Euro/pound: UP at 89.04 pence from 88.77 pence