Shanghai reported its first case of the highly infectious BA.5 omicron sub-variant over the weekend
Wall Street stocks closed mixed on Friday as investors hesitated following a stronger-than-expected report on the US jobs market. The data showed that nonfarm payrolls increased 372,000 last month, better than the 250,000 estimate. The S&P 500 gave up less than 0.1%, the Dow Jones slipped 0.15%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.12%. Still, all three major averages finished up for the week. In individual stocks, shares of Twitter fell nearly 5% after a report that Elon Musk was planning to back out of his takeover offer.
Asian equities were mixed-to-lower on Monday as a new wave of COVID-19 outbreak in China added to worries about the economic outlook. Shanghai reported its first case of the highly infectious BA.5 omicron sub-variant over the weekend. The Shanghai Composite index closed 1.27% lower while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng plunged more than 3%. Bucking the trend, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.11%, extending the gains in the previous two sessions as the ruling coalition expanded its majority in an upper house election.
In Europe, stocks opened lower today, with market players taking a more cautious stance ahead of this week’s economic data including the US inflation report that could point to another interest rate hike by 75 basis points. In individual stocks, Danske Bank plunged more than 5.5% in early deals as the bank reduced its full-year net profit outlook over the weekend, citing on “unfavorable financial market conditions”.
In currencies, the USD index remains on the offensive at the start of the week, targeting twenty-year highs seen last week around 107.80. The greenback attracted buying interest after some retreat, extending the ascent amid rising expectations for another 75-basis point rate hike by the Fed. As such, USDJPY exceeded the 137.00 mark for the first time in 24 years to notch fresh tops around 137.30 before retreating marginally amid profit-taking. As the pair keeps advancing north, the 140.00 mark comes into the market focus.