In Asian Equity Markets stocks were trying to extend their recent rally to a third week on Monday in the hope critical U.S. jobs figures show the expected revival in hiring in May and keep the global economic recovery on track. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.4 percent, having rallied 2.2 percent last week. Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.1 percent, while Australia touched a fresh all-time peak. Chinese blue chips lost 0.4 percent, as surveys showed a slight slowdown in factory activity but a pick-up in the giant service sector.
In Currency Markets the dollar held near a two-month high against the yen on Monday after a key measure of U.S. inflation showed stronger price gains than expected, keeping alive expectations of an eventual tapering in the Federal Reserve’s asset buying. The dollar ticked down 0.2 percent to 109.64 yen in a trade dominated by month-end dollar selling from Japanese exporters, but stood not far from Friday’s peak of 110.20, which was its highest since early April. The euro was little moved at $1.2203, off Friday’s low of $1.2133, while the British pound barely moved at $1.4199.
In US Equity Markets stocks climbed on Friday as investors brushed off a stronger-than-expected inflation reading, as both the Dow and S&P 500 indexes clinched their first weekly gain in the past three weeks. The Dow rose 0.19 percent, to 34,529.45, the S&P 500 gained 0.08 percent, at 4,204.11 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.09 percent, at 13,748.74. Boeing Co fell 1.47 percent after the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the planemaker halted deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners, adding fresh delays for customers following a recent five-month delivery suspension due to production problems.
In Commodities Markets oil prices inched higher on Friday, with Brent holding near $70 a barrel as strong U.S. economic data and expectations of a rebound in global demand outweighed concerns about more supply from Iran once sanctions are lifted. Brent rose 0.27 percent, to settle at $69.65 a barrel, and U.S. WTI crude fell 0.36 percent, to settle $66.61 a barrel. Gold rose on Friday, after data showed rising U.S. consumer prices in April and boosted bullion’s appeal as an inflation hedge. Spot gold rose 0.38 percent to $1,903.3383 per ounce.
In European Equity Markets stocks rose to a record high on Friday as British-exposed financial stocks gained following a hawkish comment from a Bank of England official, with the prospects of increased U.S. fiscal spending boosting market sentiment. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.6 percent to a record high of 448.98 points and added 1 percent this week. Bank stocks rose 0.4 percent to a 15-month high, tracking a rise in euro zone bond yields. British lenders, including HSBC, led the gains after a Bank of England policymaker suggested an earlier-than-signalled hike in lending rates.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday in a shortened trading session on month-end buying by portfolio managers, with the market largely shrugging off a rise in U.S. core inflation above the Federal Reserve’s target. In early afternoon trading, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.582 percent from 1.61 percent late on Thursday. U.S. 30-year yields fell to 2.264 percent from Thursday’s 2.29 percent. The bond market closes early ahead of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend.