TOKYO (AP) – Global shares mostly rose Friday, tracking a rally on Wall Street as investors awaited the release of jobs data.
France’s CAC 40 slipped nearly 0.1% in early trading to 6,352.44 while Germany’s DAX added 0.7% to 15,303.46. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.4% to 7,107.22. U.S. futures were steady with the contract for the Dow industrials rising less than 0.1% to 34,463.50. The S&P; 500 future rose less than 0.1% to 4,197.88.
China reported its trade with the United States and the rest of the world surged by double digits in April as consumer demand recovered, but growth appeared to be slowing. Trade data released Friday show global exports rose 32.3% over a year ago to $263.9 billion, in line with March but down from the explosive 60.6% rise in the first two months of 2021.
China’s trade gains look especially dramatic in comparison with a year ago, when global economies shut down to fight the coronavirus. The positive indicators are coming amid worries about renewed tensions between the U.S. and China over trade.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped early losses to edge up nearly 0.1% and finish at 29,357.82. Australia’s S&P;/ASX 200 added 0.3% to 7,080.80, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6% to 3,197.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gyrated much of the day ending nearly 0.1% lower at 28,610.65, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.7% to 3,418.87.
Japan has decided to extend its state of emergency to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections, which kicked in last month in some urban areas, with people asked to stay home and restaurants to close early. The emergency will continue through the end of the month, instead of ending May 11, officials said.
Worries are growing that Japan’s medical system is being stretched thin, straining its ability to roll out vaccinations and treat rising numbers of infections. About 2% of the 126 million people in Japan have been inoculated so far. Opposition is growing against the Tokyo Olympics, set to open in July, with doubts growing whether the government can make good on its promise to have the elderly vaccinated by then.
Stocks have mostly pushed higher on expectations of an economic recovery and strong profits this year. Massive support from the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve, and increasingly positive economic data, have also encouraged investors to push stock prices to all-time highs.
Jobs growth is key to a sustained economic rebound, but it has lagged other areas of the economy such as retail sales and consumer confidence.
Economists expect the April jobs data to show employers hired 975,000 workers last month as the economy accelerated out of the pandemic and vaccines rolled out nationwide. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5.8% from 6%.
“Today’s session was tentative ahead of US non-farm payrolls. The most important question will be if the US job market and wage growth are recovering faster than anticipated, supporting the reflation trade theme with increasing inflation expectations that are pulling commodity prices higher,” said Anderson Alves, trader with ActivTrades.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 4 cents to $64.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 1 cent to $68.08 a barrel.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched down to $109.15 Japanese yen from $109.19 yen. The euro cost $1.2081, up from $1.2062.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.
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