US stocks were on the rise on Thursday on energy and financial sectors gains. In the recent 14 trading days the financial sector added 13% although still 7% down this year. US dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, advanced 0.1% to 97.61. S&P 500 index edged up by 0.35% to 1,993.40 with 9 out of 10 its sectors closing in the black and energy sector leading the growth ( 1.35%). The bottom performer was the healthcare sector which lost 0.07% as Helbalife stocks edged 7% lower on the news it overstated staff increase by error. Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.26% to 16,943.90 while Nasdaq added 0.09% to 4,707.42.
Yesterday the January factory orders were released in the US, they rose since December by 1.6% instead of the expected 2.0%. The same story was with the Market services PMI for February and the initial jobless claims, both indicators falling short of expectations. Today at 14:30 CET the February unemployment rate, the February nonfarm payrolls and the January trade balance will be released. The payrolls are the key indicator to watch today as they are expected to have risen from January’s 151k to 190k in February. At 19:00 CET the Baker Hughes oil rig count will come out.
European stocks were on the rise on Friday following the steam of the US and Asian markets and on chipmaker Gemalto surge. The company’s stocks added more than 10% on solid annual gains. EURUSD rose 0.05% to 1.0961. FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.5% on Thursday having snapped the 5-day winning streak but on Friday rebounded by 0.1%. Since the start of the year the index is still on track to lose 7%. The major European indices were on the rise on Friday with Britain’s FTSE 100, Germany’s Dax 30 index, France’s CAC 40 advancing 0.75-0.89%. Miners Glencore and Antofagasta edged up too pushed up by the rally in industrial metals prices. The Seadrill stocks soared 15% in the US overnight and then 20% in Europe today. Today in the morning the Q4 GDP was released in Italy being in line with forecasts. No other significant economic data are expected today in Europe.
Asian stocks were advancing today with this week being the best for them in 5 recent months. Nikkei index advanced 5% while the China’s CSI300 index added 3.5% this week. Investors anticipate the two-day meeting of the China’s parliament on Saturday which will disclose the country’s economic goals for the following five years. USDJPY was flat today at 113.69.
Oil futures prices fell on Friday erasing some of the week’s gains on uncertain production outlook. The Brent futures slid to $36.98 a barrel still on track to end this week 5% higher while the WTI futures fell to $34.55 a barrel. The EIA reported the diminished US crude output while the inventories rose to the fresh high of almost 518mln barrels last week. Today investors highly anticipate the US economic data for further forecasts of oil performance. The positive payrolls data may boost the oil prices to new highs.
Gold soared to fresh year highs on Friday after yesterday’s 2% increase. Spot gold advanced 0.7% to $1,271.88 an ounce while the gold futures with delivery for April jumped 1.2% to $1,273.10. The gold has already advanced 20% this year on global economic uncertainly and tumbling oil prices and may continue rising in price in case the US payrolls data come out negative today. The assets of the world’s major gold-backed ETF SPDR Gold Shares rose about 5 tonnes on Thursday. Speaking of other precious metals, silver rose 1.2% today to $15.42 an ounce while platinum advanced 1% to $958.50 an ounce.