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Stocks gain, treasuries fall after US jobs data

Mar 09 2018 16:20
Robert Brand, Bloomberg

Cape Town - Stocks climbed and Treasuries fell as labor data showed the US added more jobs than expected in February, and as investors digested surprise plans for talks between America and North Korea while concerns around trade tariffs simmered.

US equity futures rose and the Stoxx Europe 600 index gained even as the numbers also showed wage gains below expectations. The dollar pared an advance. Earlier, Asian stocks rallied on news of an agreement for an unprecedented summit between the leaders of the US and North Korea.

The yen fell and bond yields increased as investors ditched some safer assets. Crude advanced, but was still headed for a second week of declines as US shale output climbed.

The monthly US employment data presented a mixed picture, clouding the outlook for monetary policy as the Fed prepares to review interest rates later this month.

Meanwhile, the announcement that President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fed risk-on sentiment in Asia as it helped ease geopolitical concerns tied to the nuclear-armed dictatorship. The summit news overshadowed a warning from China that it will take “strong” measures to counter US trade tariffs.

Elsewhere, Mexico’s peso and Canada’s loonie strengthened on news the two countries will be exempted from the US tariffs, while Norway’s krone climbed after February inflation rose above the central bank’s target. Bitcoin fell below $9 000, heading for its worst weekly decline since February 2.

Here are the remaining key events for this week:

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference runs through March 15 and overlaps with the National People’s Congress meetings in Beijing, through March 20.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

• The The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.5% as of 8:36am New York time, hitting the highest in more than a week with its fifth consecutive advance.

• Futures on the S&P 500 Index increased 0.7% to the highest in more than a week.

• The UK’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.1%, hitting the highest in more than a week with its fifth consecutive advance.

• Germany’s DAX Index fell 0.1%, the first retreat in a week.

• MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3%.

• Japan’s Topix index added 0.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.1%, South Korea’s Kospi rallied 1.1% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3%.

Currencies

• The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.1%.

• The euro declined less than 0.05% to $1.2309, the weakest in more than a week.

• The British pound climbed 0.2% to $1.3842.

• The Japanese yen decreased 0.6% to ¥106.82/$, the weakest in more than a week on the biggest dip in more than two weeks.

Bonds

• The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced two basis points to 2.87%, the biggest gain in a week.

• Germany’s 10-year yield climbed three basis points to 0.63%.

• Britain’s 10-year yield climbed three basis points to 1.474%, the biggest increase in more than a week.

• Japan’s 10-year yield declined less than one basis point to 0.053%.

Commodities

• West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.1% to $60.77 a barrel.

• Gold declined 0.4% to $1 316.94 an ounce, the weakest in four weeks.

• LME copper advanced 0.5% to $6 869.50 per metric ton.

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