US stocks slightly rose on Thursday on strong US economic data and good performance of healthcare sector which offset losses in energy and tech sectors. The data showed the ADP employment change rose in May while the jobless claims fell compared to previous week. US dollar index, a measure of a greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 95.508. S&P 500 index advanced 0.28% to 2,105.26 with 7 out of 10 its major sectors closing in the black and healthcare stocks leading the rise ( 1.3%). The blue-chip index reached its 7-month high while Nasdaq is advancing already 7 days. Johnson & Johnson stocks advanced 1.5% on the news it planned acquisition of Vogue international. Apple stocks lost 0.8% when Goldman Sachs cut the price target for the company as they expect lackluster growth of smartphone industry. Dow Jones industrial average added 0.27% to 17,837.54 while Nasdaq advanced 0.39% to 4,971.36. The trading volume was 6.4bn shares in the US exchanges, below the last 20-day average of about 7bn shares. US stocks are flat on Friday ahead of the US nonfarm payrolls. Today at 14:30 CET the US non-farm payrolls are expected to show the rise of 164 thousand and the May average wage earnings to add 0.2%. Investors highly anticipate the Janet Yellen’s speech on Monday which is the Fed’s last chance to shed light on the outcome of the June 14-15 meeting. The current chances for the Fed rate hike are 20% for June and 60% for July meeting. Later today the Markit composite, services and non-manufacturing PMIs are expected. At 19:00 CET the Baker Hughes oil rigs count will be released, the current count is 316 rigs.
European stocks opened up today following the bullish Asian trading day. The ECB left the interest rates unchanged yesterday. The French hotel group Accor advanced 5.2% on the news the Chinese Jin Jiang was planning to acquire more stocks of the company. The FTSEurofirst index added 0.6%. On the other hand, Airbus stocks lost 2%, Banco Popolare declines 5.8% EURUSD is traded at $1.11545 on Friday down from the weekly high of $1.1221.
Asian stocks gained ground on Friday ahead of US jobs data to come out today. Japanese Nikkei index added 0.5% to close the week 1.1% lower. Chinese stocks opened with negative bias but later rebounded with CSI 300 index closing 0.7% higher and Shanghai Composite index up 0.4% both recording weekly gains of more than 4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.4% too with a weekly rise of 1.7%. MSCI index of Asia-Pacific outside Japan rose 0.5%. USDJPY lost 0.2% to 108.645 having previously hit a two-week low of 108.5. The Japanese yen is getting stronger on weak global economic news as it is a safe-haven and funding currency. For a moment, the Brexit concerns and decision to postpone the sales tax hike support the yen.
Oil futures prices are flat on Friday on mixed news. The data on lower US crude stockpiles were offset by the news OPEC failed to agree upon oil production freeze. The agreement failed as Iran insisted on raising its production volumes. Brent crude stood at $50.04 a barrel while WTI stood at $49.19 a barrel.
Gold has been looking down for the fifth straight week as investors’ risk appetite is on the rise and stock market indices are advancing. Gold was under pressure by hawkish US Fed minutes and comments having lost 5% in recent month. Nevertheless, the bullion is 14% since the start of the year. Today gold seems to have steadied with spot gold traded at $1,210.86 an ounce little changed from $1,210.49 on Thursday. Gold futures for June added 90 cents to $1,213.50.
Silver advanced on Friday being 0.3% up to $16.02 an ounce. Platinum added 0.6% to $955.50 an ounce.