BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks advanced yesterday while European markets opened lower as investors waited for United States (US) jobs data that could help determine whether, or how soon, the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.
Analysts expect a solid 165,000 increase in the monthly non-farm payrolls for June, and a weak number could push the Fed to act soon to help the economy. The central bank has said it is prepared to cut rates if trade disputes with China crimp growth.
Investors expect central banks to become more prone to lower interest rates, analysts at IHS Markit said in a report. “All incoming data will be scrutinised for last-minute policy signals.”
In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 declined 0.2 per cent to 7,587, France’s CAC 40 was 0.3 per cent lower at 5,601 and Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.2 per cent to 12,594.
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 0.1 per cent. US markets were closed on Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 per cent to 3,011.06 and Toyko’s Nikkei 225 added 0.2 per cent to 21,746.38. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.5 per cent to 6,751.30 and Seoul’s Kospi was 0.1 per cent higher at 2,110.59. Taiwan and New Zealand also advanced.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.1 per cent to 28,774.83 and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.
Last weekend’s agreement by US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping to refrain from new tariffs pending a new round of negotiations has relieved some pressure on markets, pushing US indexes to record highs. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters on Thursday he expected to announce new negotiations soon.
Still, forecasters warn the truce is fragile because the two sides still face the disputes that caused talks to break down in May.