Chinese exports grew at the fastest pace this year
Wall Street stocks finished mostly lower on Friday in volatile trading after the US data showed the economy created 528,000 jobs in July while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, both coming in above estimates. Wage growth also exceeded expectation. Investors assessed a strong labor market as a sigh that the Federal Reserve will keep aggressively raising interest rates in its bid to rein in inflation. As such, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.23%, the S&P 500 shed 0.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.50%. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended the week higher.
Asian equity markets were mixed on Monday as investors digested the US employment report. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.59%. Elsewhere, China reported trade data for July that showed USD-denominated exports grew 18% on a yearly basis, the fastest pace of growth this year. The country’s global trade surplus jumped to a record $101 billion. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.19% after strong exports data. Stocks in Hong Kong and Seoul retreated marginally.
In Europe, stocks opened slightly higher on Monday, with gains being a catch up to the late recovery in US stocks ahead of the weekend. In general, market sentiment is more tepid at the start of the week, with US futures keeping rather flat in early pre-market deals. Investors stay cautious amid geopolitical tensions as China said it will continue military drills around Taiwan today.
The dollar index is steady around 106.60 in early European trading after a sharp jump following the payrolls data release on Friday. The greenback recovered from the 105.60-105.70 support zone to regain the 106.00 figure. However, the US currency is yet to preserve gains as the recovery momentum looks fairly modest at the start of the week. On the upside, the key near-term target arrives at 107.00.