In Asian Equity Markets stocks logged strong gains on Friday, recovering some of their losses from earlier in the week as focus turned to upcoming U.S. payrolls data for more clues on the world’s largest economy. Taiwan stocks gained the most among their peers, rising 1.8 percent. Chinese stocks rose slightly on Friday, with the blue-chip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 adding 0.3 percent. Investors in the region are now bracing for a slew of earnings reports next week from Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean heavyweights.
In Currency Markets the dollar crept higher on Friday but struggled to recoup its losses after falling by its sharpest pace in two weeks, as investors remained on tenterhooks ahead of U.S. jobs data and amid growing worries about a recession. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up 0.15 percent to 105.86, after sliding 0.68 percent overnight, the largest fall since July 19. Against the weaker greenback, the euro held steady at around $1.0237, after rising 0.8 percent overnight. Sterling fell 0.14 percent to $1.21405.
In US Equity Markets main indexes ended mixed in a dull session on Thursday as gains in high-growth stocks offset losses in energy shares, with investors looking ahead to monthly jobs report for clues on the pace of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The Dow fell 0.26 percent, to 32,726.82, the S&P 500 lost 0.08 percent, to 4,151.94 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.41 percent, to 12,720.58. Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co fell 2.6 percent as it cut annual profit view for the second time. Facebook-parent Meta Platforms closed up 1.0 percent after it said it would make its first-ever bond offering.
In Commodities Markets global oil prices fell on Thursday to their lowest levels since before Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, as traders fretted over the possibility of an economic recession later this year that could torpedo energy demand. Benchmark Brent crude futures settled down 2.75 percent, at $94.12, the lowest close since Feb. 18. WTI crude futures settled down 2.12 percent, at $88.54. Spot gold rose 1.6 percent to $1,792.19 per ounce. Elsewhere, spot silver rose 0.8 percent to $20.20 per ounce. Platinum jumped 3.4 percent to $928.71 while palladium rose 2.7 percent to $2,070.58.
In European Equity Markets stocks eked out gains on Thursday as some strong quarterly results lent support, while Britain’s FTSE 100 underperformed peers after the UK central bank lifted interest rates by the most since 1995. The pan-European STOXX 600 index, earlier up 0.3 percent and hitting near two-month highs, eked out a gain of 0.2 percent by the close, with UK’S FTSE 100 flat. Lufthansa rose 6.4 percent as it said it expected demand for short-haul flights in Europe to drive growth at its passenger airlines this year, forecasting a return to group operating profit for the full year.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields edged lower on Thursday, as a gloomy outlook from the Bank of England stoked global recession concerns and investors braced for key U.S. economic data to wrap up what had been a volatile week for the bond market. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was down 5.4 basis points to 2.694 percent. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 5.3 basis points at 3.055 percent. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was unchanged to 2.977 percent.