Investors await the release of the January jobs report due later today
Wall Street stocks jumped overnight, extending the rally into a fourth consecutive day as investors digested mostly upbeat corporate earnings and strong economic data. First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 779,000 for the week ended January 30, below the 830,000 estimate from analysts. As such, the S&P 500 index rose 1.09%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 1.08%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.23%.
Now, investors await the release of the January jobs report due later today.Echoing a rally on Wall Street, Asian equities were higher on Friday amid lingering hopes for global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 1.54%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.11%, South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.07%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.60%, while the Shanghai Composite bucked the trend again and shed 0.16%.
In Europe, opened modestly higher on Friday as investors look to vaccine rollouts for hopes of normalization. The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed around 0.25% in early trade. On the data front, UK January Halifax house prices came in at -0.3% versus +0.3% m/m expected while in Germany, factory orders contracted by 1.9% in December versus -1.0% m/m expected.
As for currencies, dollar demand has waned following this week’s rally that took the USD index to two-month highs despite positive risk sentiment. If the upcoming US employment data comes in better than expected, the greenback could turn positive on the day amid a sign of a more robust economic recovery in the US as compared to other countries.
Elsewhere, bitcoin price has settled marginally below the $38,000 figure following yesterday’s rejection from the $38,700 area last seen in mid-January. As long as the BTCUSD pair remains above the 20-DMA (today at $34,250), downside risks are limited. On the upside, the $40,000 handle remains in focus.