Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks in the aftermath of disappointing April jobs data. The 10-year Treasury note yield was up 1.5 basis points to 1.576%, after briefly falling below the 1.50% mark right after the jobs report. The WSJ Dollar Index was down 0.65% to 85.27. Oil prices scored weekly gains as reopening optimism outweighed Covid worries. Gold prices settled at a nearly three-month high after a weaker-than-expected U.S. April jobs report.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.3% higher, propelled by strong performances by miners and banks, as well as bullish commentary from the central bank. The materials and energy sectors were the standout performers, while the technology sector recorded the weakest outing.
A lackluster monthly jobs report sparked a rebound in technology shares and other growth stocks, setting up the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 for fresh records.
The Nasdaq Composite added 0.9%, outpacing its peers. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each rose 0.7%. Nasdaq futures soared in the wake of the jobs data, highlighting the continued back and forth in the market between technology shares — which have flourished as interest rates have stayed low and the economy floundered — and cyclical corners of the market that many investors thought were poised to benefit from a speedy economic recovery. On signs of flagging economic momentum, investors again quickly piled back into the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Gold prices logged their highest finish in almost three months after the U.S. April jobs report was much weaker than forecast.
June gold added $15.60, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,831.30 an ounce, following a 1.8% rise Thursday. Prices for the most active contract was around 3.6% higher for the week and marked their highest finish since Feb. 10, FactSet data show.
Oil futures rose and scored weekly gains on growing optimism over the economic reopening in the U.S. and Europe, though concerns remain about the surge in Covid-19 cases in India.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery tacked on 19 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $64.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, leaving front-month prices for the U.S. benchmark up 2.1% for the week, according to Dow Jones Market Data. July Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 19 cents, or 0.3%, at $68.28 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Brent gained 2.3% for the week.
Major currencies were stronger against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.2051 to highs near US$1.2170 and was near US$1.2160 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US77.60 cents to highs near US78.60 cents and was near US78.50 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen rose from near 109.28 yen per US dollar to JPY108.36 and was near JPY108.65 at the US close.
European sharemarkets advanced on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.9% to a record high, finishing up 1.7% on the week. The German Dax index gained 1.3% with Adidas shares 8.4% higher after it raised its sales outlook. The UK FTSE index rose 0.8% with UK-listed shares of Rio Tinto and BHP both up near 1%.
Japanese shares ended higher as gains in steel and insurance stocks help offset losses in electronics stocks. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.1%.
Chinese stock markets ended the session lower as holiday-related sectors extended their recent weakness in the wake of China’s five-day holiday. A positive Chinese services PMI reading and unexpectedly solid trade data for April failed to lift the mood. Restaurant operators and tourism stocks led the downturn, while solar-glass makers further weighed on the market amid recent falls in the prices for solar glass. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7%, suffering a losing streak for the third consecutive session. The Shenzhen Composite Index lost 1.6% while the ChiNext Price Index dived 3.5%.