Maersk lifts outlook after "exceptional" quarter

STORY: Maersk is lifting its outlook for the year after what it says was an “exceptional” first quarter.

The world’s biggest container shipping firm now expects full-year underlying earnings of about $30 billion.

That’s up from the $24 billion forecast earlier.

It’s been boosted by a surge in prices for seaborne freight.

That’s been driven by lockdown-related bottlenecks at U.S. and Chinese ports, and airspace closures following the conflict in Ukraine.

The bullish outlook would normally cheer economists, with Maersk seen as a barometer for global trade.

However, the volume of containers shipped by the firm over the period actually declined.

And, despite the higher guidance, Maersk says it expects global trade to normalise in the second half.

Market intelligence firm Alphaliner says that means the outlook will be seen as a negative sign for the global economy on balance.

Traders took it as a positive for Maersk though.

Shares in the firm were up around 6% in early trades Tuesday (April 26).

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