In Asian Equity Markets stocks were lower on Friday as signs of a strengthening U.S. recovery boosted bets for higher inflation and an earlier tapering of Fed stimulus. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.8 percent, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was off 0.3 percent. The CSI300 index rose 0.5 percent to 5,280.20 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1 percent to 3,589.28 points. The Hang Seng index added 0.1 percent to 29,007.32 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 percent to 10,843.35.
In Currency Markets the dollar climbed in early European trade Friday, reaching multi-week highs after a spate of strong economic data ahead of the monthly payrolls release raised the possibility of early Federal Reserve tightening. the Dollar Index was up 0.1 percent at 90.605, reaching a new three-week high. Euro traded 0.1 percent lower at $1.2113, also a three-week low, while Sterling fell 0.1 percent to $1.4095, sharply below the three-year high of 1.4250 reached Tuesday. Against the yen, the dollar edged lower to 110.26 yen.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended lower on Thursday, with tech shares dragging on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, as investors balanced concerns about inflation and the Federal Reserve reining in stimulus with relief about corporate tax hikes. The Dow fell 0.07 percent, to 34,577.04; the S&P 500 lost 0.36 percent, at 4,192.85; and the Nasdaq Composite decreased 1.03 percent, to 13,614.51. In company news, General Motors Co shares rose 6.4 percent, after the carmaker estimated “significantly better” first-half profits than previously forecast. Rival Ford added 7.2 percent.
In Commodities Markets oil was little changed following two straight days of gains that took oil futures to highs not seen in a year, after weekly U.S. crude stocks fell sharply while fuel inventories rose more than expected. U.S. crude recently rose 0.07 percent to $68.88 per barrel and Brent was at $71.36, up 0.01 percent on the day. Spot gold was down 1.9 percent at $1,871.91 per ounce, after falling to its lowest level since May 20 at $1,864.39. Silver fell 2.9 percent to $27.39 per ounce and platinum lost 2.7 percent to $1,156.96, while palladium shed 1.2 percent to $2,821.55.
In European Equity Markets stocks pared losses on Thursday as upbeat eurozone business growth data and strong U.S. jobs data lifted sentiment on a dull day of trading, while rating actions and ex-dividend trading knocked UK shares lower. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent after falling as much as 0.8 percent earlier in the session. The automobiles & auto parts and healthcare sectors gained, while miners fell the most. Britain’s biggest telecom group BT group fell 1.9 percent after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to “sell”, saying it is overvalued.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields, particularly in the belly of the curve, climbed on Thursday inlight trading ahead of the government’s May employment report. The benchmark 10-year yield was last up 3.4 basis points at 1.625 percent. Yields on five- and seven-year notes hit two-week highs. The two-year Treasury yield was 1.3 basis points higher at 0.1604 percent. The spread between five-year notes and 30-year bonds was last 2.16 basis points flatter at 145.53 basis points.