Friday market updates are the best market updates.
– Data in the US overnight showed that jobless claims fell 15,000 last week to 330,000, which is still somewhat elevated from where they were printing a month ago. But given one of the two most important data releases each month in non-farm payrolls is due out tonight, the impact has been negligible. Markets in the US have recovered off early weakness and are back closer to home for the day.
– At the close the Dow is down 0.11% at 16,445, the Nasdaq has fallen 0.23% and the S&P 500 is up 1 point for a 0.03% gain.
– In Europe stocks were lower with the FTSE falling 0.46% as retailers got hit. The DAX fell 0.8%, the CAC down 0.84% while in Milan stocks rose 0.34% and in Madrid stocks were down 0.19%.
– On the ASX overnight trade in March SPI 200 contract has had a negative tone and is down 7 points to 5286 bid. 3 year bonds are unchanged with the 10 year contract up 1 point.
– On FX markets, it was a very interesting night, as the ECB and BoE meetings got currency traders hoping with the euro trading in an almost 1 cent range just after the ECB announcement and press conference. The key is that ECB President Draghi noted that further rate reductions could be on the cards. But from 0.25% that is really no big deal, which is why euro has climbed back somewhat to sit at 1.3588 this morning. What would really get things going is any hint of some unconventional QE-style measures.
– Elsewhere, Mark Carney and the BoE also left rates on hold but the pressure on him is all the greater because the UK economy seems to be healing. As a result, his adherence to forward guidance is likely to be tested as unemployment improves in the months ahead. GBP is up 60 pips at 1.6468 this morning. The Aussie recovered somewhat from yesterday’s weakness and is back near 89 cents at 0.8891 while USDJPY sits at 104.77.
– Nymex crude traded down to its lowest level overnight since May last year but has recovered off the lows to be only down 0.13% at $92.21. Gold has had its first positive day in three, up 0.33% at $1226 oz while Copper lost another 4 cents to $3.35 lb. On the Ags, Corn and Wheat were hit again, falling 1.38% and 0.76% respectively. Soybeans were dragged along for the ride, losing 0.36%.
On the data front, non-farm payrolls tonight is the key to everything in many ways – stock market moves, US dollar certainly and of course, bonds, which have been flirting once again with 3% in the US this week. The market is expecting 195,000 new jobs to have been created in December.
But before we get to that, at 12.30pm AEDT we have a fairly full day of data with HIA new home sales in Australia, Trade Data and new loans out of China and Japanese leading indicators. Then tonight we see UK industrial production, Euro-wide GDP and the Canadian unemployment rate.