In Asian Equity Markets stocks edged higher on Monday courtesy of gains in China which also helped U.S. stock futures pare early losses, while rising Treasury yields lifted the dollar to a near three-year peak against the Japanese yen. Yet a 0.5 percent rise in the Chinese blue chip index helped stabilise the mood and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.7 percent. The decline in the yen provided a welcome boost to Japan’s Nikkei which reversed early losses to rise 1.6 percent, though Australia was still off 0.4 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar rose to its highest in nearly three years versus the yen on Monday as investors remained confident the U.S. Federal Reserve will announce a tapering of its massive bond-buying next month despite softer U.S. payrolls figures. The Japanese currency was hurt by a slight tilt towards riskier currencies as sterling and the Australian dollar both gained slightly on the greenback, leaving the dollar’s index little changed at 94.154. The British pound held firmer at $1.3634. On the other hand, the euro was soft at $1.1575, hovering a tad above its Wednesday’s low of $1.1529.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 ended lower on Friday after data showed weaker jobs growth than expected in September, yet investors still expected the Federal Reserve to begin tapering asset purchases this year. The Dow fell 0.03 percent to end at 34,746.25 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.19 percent to 4,391.35. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.51 percent to 14,579.54. Real estate and utilities were the poorest performers among 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, down 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The S&P 500 energy sector index rose 3.1 percent.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Friday, gaining more than 4 percent on the week, as a global energy crunch lifted prices to their highest since 2014 as big global power users struggle to meet demand. Brent crude rose 0.54 percent to settle at $82.39 a barrel. U.S. crude settled up 1.34 percent at $79.35 a barrel. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,758.86 per ounce. Platinum and palladium held on to gains, rising 4.1 percent to $1,019.74, and 5.8 percent to $2,073.52 respectively, likely buoyed by the positive fine print in the jobs report. Spot silver rose 0.5 percent to $22.70.
In European Equity Markets stocks ended a volatile session lower on Friday as investors digested data showing slowing jobs growth in the United States, but they still marked their best week in two months as fears of soaring inflation were tempered. The pan-European STOXX 600 index, which had fallen as much as 0.5 percent, only briefly reversed the earlier losses after the data. UK travel stocks, including British-Airways owner IAG, Whitbread and Ryanair, gained between 0.4 percent and 1.6 percent with Britain set to scrap tough COVID-19 quarantine requirements for 47 destinations.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields hit multi-month highs on Friday in the wake of a weaker-than-anticipated September employment report that was still expected to keep the Federal Reserve on track with its tapering plans and as inflation expectations rose. The benchmark 10-year yield, which fell to a session low of 1.558 percent shortly after the jobs data, later climbed to its highest level since June 4 at 1.617 percent. It was last up 3.2 basis points at 1.603 percent. The five-year note yield reached its highest level since February 2020 at 1.059 percent. It was last up 2.9 basis points at 1.0481 percent.