The price of oil is continuing to fluctuate around the minimum for the past two months. On Friday the prices were in a $46.15-$47.20 per barrel of Brent range. On Monday morning prices were up slightly from $46.2 to $46.6. Last Friday’s oil report from Baker Hughes showed a rise from 341 to 351 of active drilling rigs in the US last week; this compounded pressure on prices.
However, the Asian stock markets started the week rising rapidly, showing confidence that money won’t be cheap in the world for much longer. The Nikkei 225 rose by 4.5%. The ASX Australia was up 1.7%. The Shanghai Composite increased a modest 0.1%, and the Hang Seng increased by 1.7%. Futures for the S&P500 were trading at 2129; 0.4% above the previous trading day.
In the first half of this year, the labour market situation in China is still stable, with job creation at 7.17 million for the first six months; the figures are similar for the same period last year. According to Xin Changxing, vice minister for human resources and social security, recorded unemployment at the end of June stood at 4.05%; slightly above that of the first quarter (4.04%), but with unemployment in the country on the whole quite low. The Chinese economy is continuing to rise at a moderately high pace, allowing for mass job creation; there are many opportunities appearing for graduates due to growth in innovative industries and entrepreneurship, according to the minister. Xin Changxing noted that around 800k jobs will be lost this year in the coal and steel industries due to excess labour force and that work is currently underway to secure new jobs for these workers.
On Friday some contradictory US labour market data came out. On the one hand, the level of unemployment rose from 4.7% in May to 4.9% in June, whilst it was expected not to rise above 4.8%. On the other hand, and a more important parameter, job creation in the non-farming sector jumped to 287k, whilst the experts expected it to rise by only 175k. The dollar reacted to this data paradoxically: a sharp fall was followed by a sharp rise and the price returned to the levels it previously sat at. For the EUR/USD this meant a fall to 1.1000, then it rocketed up to 1.1120 and closed the week around 1.1050. The pair is trading in a 1.1035-1.1055 range this morning. Today there will be some June US labour market data released and the results of the European Commission convening may well also have an effect on the rate.