Stock market today: World shares advance ahead of key US jobs report

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Let’s take a journey into the world of global markets, where stocks, currencies, and oil prices are in the spotlight. On Friday, European and Asian shares showed mostly positive trends, setting the stage for an eventful day of trading ahead.

In Europe, key stock indexes saw gains. Germany’s DAX rose by 0.3%, while France’s CAC 40 climbed by 0.5%, and the FTSE 100 in London added 0.3%. These gains indicate a positive start to the trading day in Europe.

Over in the United States, futures contracts for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up, pointing towards a potentially positive opening for U.S. markets. This optimism comes ahead of an important report on U.S. employment, which is expected to shed light on the health of the economy.

However, it’s important to note that markets in Tokyo and mainland China were closed for holidays, limiting trading activity in the region.

Turning our attention to currency markets, the Japanese yen saw some strengthening against the U.S. dollar. This came amid reports of heavy intervention by Japan’s central bank to prevent the yen from weakening further. The Japanese government reportedly spent a significant amount of reserves to stabilize the yen’s exchange rate against the dollar.

A weaker yen can have both positive and negative effects. While it can benefit Japanese companies that earn revenue from overseas, it can also lead to higher costs for imports, such as oil and other commodities.

Meanwhile, in Asian trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged by 1.5%, buoyed by gains on Wall Street and positive news regarding economic stimulus measures in China. Technology stocks, in particular, saw strong buying activity, with companies like Alibaba, JD.com, and Baidu posting notable gains.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also showed gains, rising by 0.6%, while the Kospi in Seoul slipped slightly by 0.3%. Taiwan’s Taiex index saw a modest increase of 0.5%.

However, India’s Sensex index experienced a decline of 0.9%, reflecting some volatility in Asian markets.

Looking back at Thursday’s trading session in the United States, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq all posted gains. This positive momentum came after the Federal Reserve hinted at delaying interest rate cuts but not planning to raise them either. This news helped alleviate concerns about the direction of monetary policy.

Later on Friday, all eyes will be on the U.S. government’s report on job growth for the month. Economists anticipate a slowdown in hiring, although recent data on unemployment benefits applications suggests that the job market remains robust.

In the energy market, both U.S. benchmark crude oil and Brent crude saw slight gains in electronic trading. This comes after a relatively stable session on Thursday.

Overall, global markets continue to navigate through a challenging economic environment, with investors closely monitoring developments in employment, monetary policy, and geopolitical events. As we await further updates, market participants remain cautiously optimistic about the outlook for growth and stability.

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