Wall Street stocks rise on Thursday despite the report that showed about 3.2 million more Americans sought jobless aid last week, bringing the total job losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic to over 33 million. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.9% higher, the S&P 500 added 1.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.4% and entered positive territory for the first time this year. Today’s data is expected to show that the unemployment rate jumped to 18% in April from 4.4% in March.
In Asia, equities gained amid a report that U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators spoke on the phone and agreed to further cooperation. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 2.5%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.0%, the Shanghai Composite in China advanced 0.73%. In Australia, S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% even as the Reserve Bank of Australia said it expects a long and slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
European stock markets opened higher on Friday along with U.S. equity futures as investors continued to cheer the news of talks between top trade negotiators in China and the United States. The Stoxx Europe 600 index climbed 0.63%. The economic impact of the coronavirus remains in focus as well ahead of the key US jobs report. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 is closed Friday because of the VE Day holiday.
As for currencies, EURUSD managed to bounce from fresh local lows on Thursday and tries to keep the upbeat tone today. The pair regained the 1.08 level but the bullish potential remains limited as long as the coronavirus-related uncertainty persists. Moreover, there are still downside risks for the common currency at the current levels. The prices need to make a decisive break above the 1.10 barrier and the 200-DMA around 1.1030 in order to stage a more sustainable recovery.
Elsewhere, volatility in the cryptocurrency market picked up as the next bitcoin halving is nearing. BTCUSD jumped to the $10,000 region and remains elevated, targeting the $10,200-$10,300 resistance area. In case of a bearish correction, the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization may retreat to $9,500.