Market focus is shifting towards the minutes of the Federal Open Markets Committee meeting from last month
Wall Street stocks finished higher last Friday as investors cheered a welcome U.S. jobs report. US employers hired 850,000 workers versus +700,000 expected while wages grew in June, but the increase was less than expected, easing investor worries about inflation pressures. As a result, the S&P 500 rose 0.75%, the Dow Jones gained 0.44%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.81% to set a fresh all-time high. U.S. markets set to be closed on Monday for observance of Independence Day.
Today in Asia, equities were mixed-to-higher as worries remain across the region about rising coronavirus cases. Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.64% as fresh data showed that Japan’s services sector activity shrank for the 17th straight month in June. Also on the negative side, local authorities in Thailand and Indonesia have reported record-high new cases. Now, market focus is shifting towards the minutes of the Federal Open Markets Committee meeting from last month due on Wednesday.
European stock markets opened little changed on Monday before turning slightly negative despite stronger-than-expected economic data. Eurozone businesses expanded activity at the fastest rate in 15 years in June, with IHS Markit’s final composite PMI jumping to 59.5 from May’s 57.1, its highest level since June 2006. Eurozone July Sentix investor confidence arrived at 29.8 versus 28.1 prior.
Meanwhile, the dollar came under some selling pressure at the start of the week, still digesting weak details of the job market report. EURUSD bounced from the 1.1800 area but continues to face local resistance in the 1.1875 region, a break above which would pave the way towards 1.1900.
Elsewhere, Brent crude extends the ascent, holding just below fresh October 2018 highs seen around $76.70 last week, with post-NFP USD weakness offering some cushion. The outcome of the OPEC+ decision due later today remains in market focus after UAE objected proposed output deal.