Wall Street closed mixed on Wednesday amid conflicting signals as investors weighed COVID-19 vaccine progress and a spike in national virus cases at the same time. Meanwhile, the June ADP employment report showed that US companies added 2.37 million jobs during the month, less than economists expected. Still, May’s loss of 2.76 million was revised to a 3.07 million gain. The June nonfarm payrolls report from the government is set to be released later today. As a result, S&P was up 0.5%, Dow Jones shed 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1%.
Today in Asia, stocks hovered around four-month highs, as investors digested progress on a vaccine from Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan rose 1.5%. China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.80%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.44%, and the ASX 200 in Australia was up 1.03%. On the negative side, according to Johns Hopkins University data, there are more than 10.6 million COVID-19 cases globally as of July 2. Rising cases suggest investors should be more cautious in the optimism over the vaccine.
European stock markets followed suit and rallied on Wednesday ahead of the crucial U.S. jobs data. According to analysts’ estimates, job numbers rose by 3 million in June, rebounding further after a historic 20.69 million plunge in April. On the other hand, new U.S. cases of COVID-19 jumped nearly 50,000 yesterday.
Elsewhere, the dollar remains under the selling pressure as risk sentiment looks upbeat due to vaccine progress as well as strong economic data. EURUSD has settled around 1.13 and retains its bullish tone ahead of the ley employment data out of the United States. GBPUSD jumped to fresh one-week highs around 1.2530, and it looks like the pair is ready to confirm a break above 1.25 on a daily closing basis. Meanwhile, USDJPY continues to grind lower on Thursday, challenging the 20-DMA again. If the dollar manages to hold above this moving average, a bounce could be expected.