– A cracking non-farm payrolls result of 288,000 in April was the strongest result since January 2012 and way above the market’s 210,000 expectation. The unemployment rate fell to a five-and-a-half year low of 6.3% but this was partly due to less people in the workforce, which took some gloss off the number.
– The market’s response was a little weird and somewhat muted. The US dollar initially caught a bid but was sold heavily again which is very strange and continues the currency’s inability to gain any upward momentum. Stocks sold off in the US a little and US 10s rallied.
– Maybe it is the increased tension in the Ukraine and what looks like an inexorable slip toward civil war. Forty people died in a huge conflagration in Odessa and tension in the East also increased.
– At the close, the Dow fell 0.28% to 16,513, the Nasdaq fell a smidge or 0.08% to 4,124 while the S&P 500 dropped just 3 points or 0.14% to 1,881. On the week, Craig James from CommSec says the Dow and S&P both posted healthy 0.9% rises while the Nasdaq was 1.2% higher.
-In Europe, the Ukraine violence weighed with Continental stocks except for Spain lower. In Britain, the FTSE was 0.19% higher at 6,822. The DAX fell 0.49%, the CAC fell 0.65% to 4,458 while the FTSE MIB in Milan was flat. Spanish stocks eked out a 0.15% gain.
– Locally, the SPI 200 rose 7 points in weekend trade to 5452 bid, suggesting a stronger open again today.
– On Currency markets, the US dollar was doing well in the lead-up to the non-farms data and then afterward, with the Aussie falling to a low of 0.9193 before rallying a full cent as the US dollar was later hammered. It sits at 0.9290 this morning; Reuters reported it has traded as high as 0.9311. Euro is also high at 1.3882 and the pound is sitting at 1.6876. USDJPY is at 102.16.
– On Commodity markets, Gold bounced strongly as the USD fell and Ukraine raised tensions. It is up almost $20 oz for a gain of around 1.5% to $1,297. Nymex crude sits at $99.99 Bbl and likely with an upside bias if the Ukrainian situation gets worse. Copper bounced strongly to $3.08 lb while the Ags were volatile again – Corn was down 1.74%, Wheat rose 1.29% and Soybeans were 0.49% higher.
On the data front, we get the TD inflation data today along with the AiG PSI, ANZ job ads and building approvals as well as the HSBC Services PMI data. Then it’s the Sentix investor confidence survey in the EU along with EU PPI and then ISM services in the US.
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