BEIJING (AP) – European stock markets opened higher yesterday while Asia declined as investors looked ahead to United States (US) jobs data for signs of inflation pressure.
London and Frankfurt gained while Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong closed lower. Wall Street futures were mixed.
Investors are swinging between optimism about a global economic recovery underpinned by coronavirus vaccinations and worry that central banks might feel pressure to withdraw stimulus to cool rising inflation pressures.
Traders are watching US jobs data due out on Friday for signs of whether the labour market “will start to show initial signs of heating,” Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a report.
The Federal Reserve said it believes a rise in prices of oil and other commodities is temporary. Wage increases can be more lasting.
Also yesterday, the World Bank raised its forecast of China’s economic growth this year to 8.5 per cent from its April prediction of 8.1 per cent. The Washington-based lender said a full recovery requires progress in vaccinations against the coronavirus.
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.3 per cent to 7,095.06 and Frankfurt’s DAX added 0.6 per cent to 15,642.81. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.3 per cent to 6,580.65.
On Wall Street, the future for the S&P 500 index was off less than 0.1 per cent while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2 per cent. On Monday, S&P 500 rose 0.2 per cent to a record as gains for Facebook, Nvidia and other tech stocks offset losses for other industries. The Dow shed 0.4 per cent while the Nasdaq composite added 1 per cent.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9 per cent to 3,573.18 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.8 per cent to 28,812.61.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost one per cent to 28,983.89 after the Chinese territory banned airline flights from Britain starting tomorrow in a new effort to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus variant.
The Kospi in Seoul retreated 0.5 per cent to 3,286.68 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost less than 0.1 per cent to 7,301.20.
India’s Sensex declined less than 0.1 per cent to 52,691.47. New Zealand, Bangkok and Jakarta advanced while Singapore declined.
Stock prices look expensive to some investors after rising faster than corporate profits. Inflation remains a worry, even if more US investors have come around to the Federal Reserve’s view that it will be only a temporary problem.
Economists expect Friday’s US jobs numbers to show employers added 700,000 more than they cut in June, an improvement over previous months. They also expect the report to show that average hourly earnings jumped 3.7 per cent in June from a year earlier.