Asian markets rise modestly ahead of US jobs data

BEIJING – Asian stock markets rose on Friday ahead of an update on the health of the US job market, while the Federal Reserve considers whether further interest rate hikes are needed to cool rising inflation.

US futures ES00,
+ 0.19%

YM00,
+ 0.23%
Oil prices rose.

Investors have been eyeing the monthly US employment figures for signs of weakness that could lead the Federal Reserve to decide on the need to mitigate aggressive interest rate increases to cool inflation. Other data indicates that the economy is slowing, which will reduce pressure on prices to rise.

“There will likely be a special focus on job growth resilience” after jobless claims surged, ActivTrades’ Anderson Alves said in a report.

Nikkei 225 NIK Index,
+ 0.87%
In Tokyo, it rose 0.8% after cash employment earnings for June rose 2.2% from a year ago, although forecasters warned that the strength is unlikely to last. Workers receive semi-annual bonuses in June.

Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP,
+ 1.03%
It advanced 0.3% while the Hang Seng HSI,
+ 0.38%
In Hong Kong it was flat.

The Kospi 180721,
+ 0.78%
In Seoul it added 0.9% and the S&P/ASX 200 XJO in Sydney,
+ 0.58%
Advance 0.4%. Stocks advanced in Singapore STI,
+ 0.37%And the
Taiwan Y9999,
+ 2.27%
and Indonesia JAKIDX,
+ 0.19%.

Investors fear that the Federal Reserve and other central banks in Europe and Asia will raise interest rates to tame multi-decade inflation, which could derail economic growth.

The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate twice by 0.75 percentage points this year, three times its usual margin and the largest increase since the early 1990s.

Federal Reserve officials have tried to allay fears that the United States may enter a recession by pointing to a strong labor market as evidence that the economy can bear higher borrowing costs.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week rose by a modest 6,000 from the previous week to 260,000. First-time orders generally reflect layoffs, but forecasters still see the labor market as one of the strongest parts of the economy.

Data earlier this week indicated that the number of job vacancies in the United States that were announced was declining, but it was still close to record levels.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed 0.1% lower on Thursday as investors digested corporate earnings reports and waited for jobs data.

S&P 500 SPX Index,
-0.08%
It fell to 4,151.94 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.26%
It fell 0.3 percent to 32,726.82 points. Nasdaq Composite,
+ 0.41%
It rose 0.4% to 12,720.58 points.

In energy markets, the US crude benchmark CLU22,
+ 0.73%
It gained 30 cents to $88.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell by $2.12 in the previous session to $88.54. Brent crude BRNV22,
+ 0.56%And the
The international trade price basis rose 22 cents to $94.34 a barrel. It fell $2.66 in the previous session to $94.12.

USDJPY dollar,
+ 0.27%
It rose to 133.14 yen from 132.91 yen on Thursday.

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