US stocks posted another week of losses after a report that showed a big loss in jobs last month because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Labor Department, the country lost 71,000 jobs in March while the unemployment rate rose to 4.4% from 3.5%. as a result, the Dow Jones dropped 360.91 points, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.5% on Friday.
Today in Asia, stocks were mixed amid a mildly better risk sentiment at the start of the week following a record rally in oil prices. Shares in Australia slipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 1.68% lower. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed largely flat at 17,820.19 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped about 0.6%. Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index shed nearly 0.7%.
As for the data, the official data showed on Friday that China’s services sector shrank further in March. The Caixin/Markit services PMI came in at 43 following a record low of 26.5 in February.
In Europe, stocks climbed on Monday on some signs of slowing in the spread of coronavirus, with the fatality rate slowing in both Italy and Spain while in the U.S., the new-case growth tally slowed to 8.2% from 12.3%. Meanwhile, Germany reported a slowdown in the rate of new cases on Sunday for the third day in a row.
In currencies, the euro struggled to stage a reversal earlier in the day and turned negative again. EURUSD has been further flirting with the 1.08 handle, and it looks like the pair may challenge Friday’s lows around 1.0770 should the selling pressure persist in the near term. Later in the day, the Eurozone investor sentiment index may affect the euro’s dynamics.
In other markets, oil prices retreated after a rally, as uncertainty surrounding the possible OPEC+ deal persists. Brent surged to $35 on Friday but retreated since then. Still, the prices manage to stay afloat around $33 on Monday as traders hope that the major producers will come to a consensus on the measures aimed at lifting oil prices from multi-year lows. Should large producers signal their readiness to support the market in the days to come, the futures may surge past $36 and retarget the $40 handle.