Stock markets higher before US jobs

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) July 14, 2015. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) July 14, 2015. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Dec 6 — Stock markets advanced and the dollar diverged today, with traders awaiting the release of key US jobs data.

Oil prices steadied as Opec sought to strike a deal among crude producers on output at a meeting in Vienna, home to the cartel’s headquarters. 

The pound meanwhile slid on profit-taking ahead of yesterday’s UK general election. 

Sterling has made solid gains recently with the Conservatives led by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to win next week’s vote.

Johnson has promised to get Brexit over the line in the coming weeks should he and his party be re-elected. 

“We’re off to a decent start in Europe as traders await the ever-highly anticipated jobs report from the US,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group.

The official figures should provide a fresh snapshot of the world’s top economy and could help dictate Federal Reserve monetary policy and possibly US President Donald Trump’s trade moves, according to analysts.

Ahead of the release, optimism over the China-US trade talks kept equities generally buoyant, with investors betting the two would eventually sign a partial deal, though markets remained nervous as next week’s deadline for fresh tariffs draws closer.

Sentiment across trading floors has ebbed and flowed through the week as observers try to gauge the state of play in the long-running negotiations, with both sides making positive, then negative comments on the outlook.

China today offered its latest olive branch, saying it would waiver tariffs on “some” imports of key US soybean and pork imports.

“It’s been rather a strange week for global equity markets,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“Moving from an expectation that we could well see some movement on trade between the US and China in the next couple of weeks, to the prospect that any solution may well not happen until after the next (American) presidential election.

“As a result of these mixed signals investors appear to be taking a more cautious view as to what may happen next.”

Traders remain on edge just over a week until December 15 — the day on which the US is due to impose tariffs on more China goods.

Key figures around 1130 GMT

London — FTSE 100: UP 0.8 per cent at 7,191.48 points

 

Frankfurt — DAX 30: UP 0.2 per cent at 13,081.41

Paris — CAC 40: UP 0.4 per cent at 5,823.11

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 per cent at 3,662.72

Tokyo — Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 per cent at 23,354.40 (close)

Hong Kong — Hang Seng: UP 1.1 per cent at 26,498.37 (close)

Shanghai — Composite: UP 0.4 per cent at 2,912.01 (close)

New York — Dow: UP 0.1 per cent at 27,677.79 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at US$1.1096 from US$1.1104 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at US$1.3132 from US$1.3157 

Euro/pound: UP at 84.50 pence from 84.40 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.57 yen from 108.76 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 per cent at US$63.43 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.1 per cent at US$58.37 per barrel — AFP

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