World Shares Mixed Following Upbeat US Jobs Report
Shares are mixed in muted trading in Europe after a day of gains in Asia, where Shanghai’s benchmark jumped 2%.
Germany’s DAX edged 0.1% to 12,621.10 and the CAC 40 in Paris was almost unchanged at 5,047.29. Britain’s FTSE also was steady, at 6,240.07. U.S. futures barely budged, with the contract for the S&P 500 at 3,130.30. The future for the Dow industrials edged 0.1% higher, to 25,787.00.
U.S. markets will be closed Friday in observance of Independence Day.
The rally in Asia followed gains on Wall Street after stronger-than-expected jobs figures were released.
The jobs data and improved global indicators are boosting sentiment, along with positive reports on potential vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus that has infected more than 10.8 million people and killed over 520,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University that experts say understates the tally due to issues with testing and asymptomatic cases.
Such news brought a “favorable turn in the risk merry go round this week as this positive news is currently tempering the seemingly endless negative views around the rapidly-rising new daily virus cases in the U.S.,” Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary.
Investors also appeared to be shrugging off news of rising numbers of coronavirus patients in South Korea and Japan, where Tokyo reported 124 newly confirmed cases.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index picked up 0.7% to 22,306.48, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 62.24 points to 3,152.81, its highest close since April 2019. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.8% to 2,152.41. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4% to 6,057.90. India’s Sensex added 0.4% and shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
Overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, its fourth-straight gain, ending the holiday-shortened week with a gain of 4%.
A recent surge in new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Florida, Texas and several other states has led some governors to halt the reopening of their economies or to order some businesses, such as restaurants and bars, to re-close. That has dimmed some of the optimism for a relatively quick economic turnaround, especially for travel-related sectors like cruise lines.
Even so, investors continue to bet that the recovery will proceed, despite the worrying rise in new cases.
The U.S. government said employers added 4.8 million jobs to their payrolls in June for the second-straight month of growth. The unemployment rate remains very high at 11.1%, but last month’s improvement was much better than economists expected.
The pandemic makes collecting data on the economy unusually difficult, but economists say it’s clear that the job market is improving after collapsing in the spring amid widespread shutdowns.
In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil for August delivery slipped 43 cents to $40.22 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 83 cents Thursday to settle at $40.65 a barrel. Brent crude oil for September delivery dropped 41 cents to $42.73 a barrel.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 0.67%. It tends to move with investors’ expectations for the economy and inflation.
In currency dealings, the U.S. dollar edged lower, to 107.49 Japanese yen from 107.50 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1234 from $1.1236.
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