The data is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased by 250,000 jobs in July
Wall Street stocks ended mixed on Thursday as investors awaited Friday’s July jobs report for clues on the pace of rate hikes by the Fed. The data is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased by 250,000 jobs in July after rising by 372,000 jobs previously. The release on Thursday showed that initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 260,000 last week, in line with estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.26%, the S&P 500 fell 0.08% and the Nasdaq Composite increased 0.41% to hit a fresh three-month high due to a 2% rally in Amazon stocks.
Asian equity markets rose on Friday ahead of the US jobs data. Japan reported that June labor cash earnings rose 2.2% on a yearly basis, pushing the Nikkei 225 Index nearly 0.9% higher. The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.19% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong finished flat. In individual stocks, shares of Alibaba fell 2.58% after Chinese e-commerce giant reported a flat revenue in the second quarter.
In Europe, stocks were little changed at the open, with markets looking fairly tepid ahead of the NFP data later today. The Bank of England on Thursday hiked interest rates by 50 basis points, as expected. In corporate news, Deutsche reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter profit, but the bank’s shares were just marginally higher early in the session. US stock index futures were slightly higher in early pre-market deals, but the momentum looked modest and cautious.
Meanwhile, the dollar turned slightly positive on Friday after yesterday’s sell-off. The USD index is oscillating around the 106.00 figure during the European hours, struggling to stage a decisive rebound as traders await the employment report. Should the figures disappoint, the greenback will resume the decline across the market as Fed rate hike expectations would abate further amid signs of a weaker job market. On the downside, the key support bow arrives around 105.70-105.60.