Weak ADP data hinted at delayed tapering by the US Federal Reserve
Wall Street stocks saw modest gains overnight, with positive momentum limited. The survey by ADP showed companies added jobs at a slower pace than expected, with private sector employment increasing by 374,000 jobs from July to August. As such, the S&P 500 rose 0.03%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.33%.
Asian equities were mostly lower on Thursday as investors waited for U.S. jobs data due on Friday. Also, concerns grew over the Chinese economy after a run of soft data. Still, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.67%, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.20% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed less than 0.1%. The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.81%.
In Europe, stocks were flat on Thursday, struggling for direction ahead of the weekly initial jobless claims report and the Labor Department’s nonfarm payrolls report. In individual stocks, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum rallied 24% after U.S. venture capital firm Advent International and Aurora Investment offered to buy the drugmaker.
In currencies, the dollar saw another bearish session on Wednesday, with the pressure intensifying following the disappointing jobs data ahead of the key Friday’s report. The figures hinted at delayed tapering by the US Federal Reserve, adding to a less upbeat tone surrounding the greenback. Against this backdrop, EURUSD surged to fresh nearly one-month highs around 1.1860 before retreating marginally. On Thursday, the pair retains a slight bullish bias though the momentum has slowed as risk sentiment turned mixed.
Meanwhile, oil prices edged lower on Wednesday after another failed attempt to hold above the $72 figure despite OPEC+’s relatively harmonious decision to gradually raise supply. The plan is for the group to add 400,000 barrels per day in output for its members in October. Elsewhere, the EIA report showed that crude oil stockpiles fell by 7.2 million barrels to 425.4 million barrels last week. On the negative side, crude oil production rose by 100,000 barrels a day to 11.5 million barrels a day, the highest since May 2020.