Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Asian Stocks Rise as Tepid Jobs Report Stokes Low Rate Hopes

Wall Street advances as US payrolls report falls short Wall Street advances as US payrolls report falls short Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Image Source Reuters
Juana Turner | 06 September, 2016, 00:29

United States stock futures edged up 0.2 per cent, though USA stock and bond markets will be closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

Expectations of higher rates tend to boost the dollar, as they make the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

The dollar slumped against its major peers as disappointing jobs growth in the US weakened the case for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase this month. An upbeat payrolls report would have reinforced the view that a U.S. rate rise is on the cards, with Fed officials having sounded a hawkish note at a meeting last weekend, pressuring gold further.

US equities declined further Wednesday after the country's ADP employment report came out better than expected, which is watched closely as a pre-indicator for the non-farm payrolls report due on Friday.

With the jobs report "not far off the mark", markets are likely in for more sideways trading until there is a rate rise or more attention on the USA election, said Randy Frederick, director of trading and derivatives at Schwab Center for Financial Research.

Gold has risen more than one per cent after U.S. jobs growth came in below expectations, dampening the likelihood of an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this month, but bullion pared gains after the United States dollar turned positive.

The precious metal is sensitive to moves in US rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced. While the U.S.is on a long streak of job growth, reports over the last few months have been inconsistent.

Markets priced in a 21 per cent chance of a Fed interest rate increase this month on Friday, down from 24 per cent the previous day, according to CME Group's FedWatch programme.

"We will add that we have been fooled by the FOMC on September moves in prior years and vow not to fall into that same trap again", Loh wrote.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening of the summit on Sunday that global economy was being threatened by rising protectionism and risks from highly leveraged financial markets.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the currency against 10 major peers, retreated 0.3 percent after gaining 1.5 percent over the past two weeks.

The BOJ's Kuroda told a seminar on Monday that the central bank's comprehensive review of its policies later this month won't lead to a withdrawal of easing.

"There is no free lunch for any policy".

The euro rose 0.1% to $1.1164 ahead of Thursday's European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate decision. All 33 economists polled by Reuters expected a steady outcome, with financial markets pricing in the smallest of chances for a cut 0#YIB: .

Crude prices inched down, paring their robust gains in the previous session amid worries over a global oil glut. Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 70 cents to $45.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, the benchmark for worldwide oil prices, rose 67 cents to $47.50 a barrel.

But for the week, Brent fell 6%, its biggest drop in five weeks, while U.S. crude fell almost 7% to mark its largest decline in eight weeks.

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