In Asian Equity Markets Chinese stocks fell on Friday, a day after China’s Communist Party celebrated its centenary, while other regional markets held firm following Wall Street’s ascent to record highs ahead of U.S. jobs data due out later in the global day. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.3 percent and most other markets held on to slim gains but MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.7 percent, due to decline in Chinese and Hong Kong stocks. Shanghai Composite fell 1.2 percent, amid speculation the Chinese central bank could begin tightening monetary policy.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar was perched at a 15-month high on the yen and at multi-month peaks against other majors on Friday, as traders wagered strong U.S. labour data could lift it even further. The dollar rose 0.06 percent to 111.65 yen early in Asia, and at $1.1843 per euro it was also a whisker short of Thursday’s three-month high of $1.1837 per euro. It crept to a fresh two-and-a-half month high of $1.3752 against the British pound and sat near its highest since December against the Australian dollar at $0.7467.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 reached its sixth consecutive all-time closing high on Thursday, as a new quarter and the second half of the year began with upbeat economic data and a broad-based rally. The Dow rose 0.38 percent, to 34,633.53, the S&P 500 gained 0.52 percent, to 4,319.94 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.13 percent, to 14,522.38. Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, consumer staples was the sole loser, shedding 0.3 percent. Micron Technology Inc slid by 5.7 percent following a report that Texas Instruments would buy Micron’s Lehi, Utah, factory for $900 million.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose roughly 2 percent on Thursday on indications that OPEC+ producers could increase output more slowly than expected in coming months, while rising global fuel demand causes supply to tighten. Brent crude settled at $75.84 a barrel, up 1.6 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $75.23 a barrel, gaining 2.4 percent. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent to $1,773.09 per ounce. Elsewhere, silver fell 0.5 percent to $25.98 per ounce, palladium fell 0.5 percent to $2,764.66, and platinum rose 0.8 percent to $1,081.30.
In European Equity Markets stocks ended higher on Thursday as a rally in crude prices saw energy stocks surge more than 2 percent, while strong earnings reports helped dispel some concerns over the infectious “Delta” variant of the coronavirus. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.6 percent higher at 455.63 points, with energy stocks marking their best day in one month. Energy services provider TechnipFMC Plc was the top gainer in the sector, adding 4.4 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 0.5 percent as data showed retail sales in Europe’s biggest economy rebounded in May.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields crept a little higher on Thursday as the market awaited the government’s June employment report for clues on how it might influence Fed monetary policy. The benchmark 10-year yield rise 3.1 basis points at 1.4747 percent. On Wednesday, it fell to its lowest level since June 21 at 1.438 percent due mostly to quarter- and month-end demand. The breakeven inflation rate on five-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities rose to its highest level since early June at 2.515 percent. The two-year Treasury yield was last less than a basis point higher at 0.2566 percent.