U.S. markets extended gains on Wednesday with rebounding oil prices. Further negotiations about Greece's debt eased concerns over the Eurozone. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending January 31 in the U.S. increased by 11,000 to 278,000. The U.S. trade deficit widened to $46.56 billion in December from a deficit of $39.75 billion in November, driven by falling oil prices, a stronger greenback and a strengthening U.S. economy. Productivity in the U.S. non-farm businesses fell at a 1.8% annual rate in the fourth quarter. Unit labour costs increased 2.7% in the fourth quarter, exceeding expectations for a 1.1% rise.
Today U.S. data on Average Hourly Earnings, Nonfarm Payrolls and the Unemployment rate followed by FOMC member's Dennis Lockhart's speech will be in the focus.
The DOW JONES index added 1.20% closing at 17,884.88 points. The S&P 500 rose by 1.03% with a final quote of 2,062.51 points. The index is positive for the year again after volatile trading.
Chinese stocks declined on growing concerns over economic growth and in the wake of a set of IPOs. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading -0.27% at 24,698.58 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,076.64 points -1.91%.
Japan's Nikkei added gains on Friday after oil prices recovered, closing 0.82% with a final quote of 17,648.50.