Global stocks are trading on Friday mostly with increases amid optimism for the continuing Sino-American trade talks. However, the gains are limited, as investors awaiting fresh data on the US labor market during a time of uncertainty over the strength of America’s economy that has been a key driver of global growth.
The subdued activity came ahead of the US jobs report, due to be released at 8.30am in Washington. Wall Street economists expect the world’s biggest developed economy to have added 180,000 jobs last month with wage growth steady at a 3.4% YoY pace.
Asian markets recap
Most of the major Asian indexes ended today’s trading session with increases, while the focus of investors continued to be on the trade talks between the US and China.
The Japanese blue-chip index Nikkei 225 added 82.55 points, or 0.38%, ending the day at 21,807.50 points. The shares of Fanuc and Hitachi Construction Machinery rose by 1.21% and 1.15%, respectively. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (+6.66%), Rakuten Inc (+6.64%) and Yamaha Motor (+5.85%) was up 5.85%. Meanwhile, household spending in Japan rose less than expected in February. The growth for the second month of 2019 is 1.7% versus February 2018, while expectations were for a 2.1% rise.
Stock exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong are closed today for a national holiday.
In South Korea, the index Kospi advanced by 0.14% to 2,209.61 points. The stocks of Samsung Electronics declined by 0.21% after the company warned it expected a fall in quarterly profit by nearly 60% YoY.
Australian index S&P ASX 200 reported a decline of 51.50 points, or 0.83%, to 6,181.30 points. All sectors in the country whose companies are listed have declined.
European markets mid-session recap
German index DAX 30 is trading with an increase of 0.01% to 11,989.86 points at 11:10 GMT, recovering from the early loses. The stocks of Deutsche Bank are moving into the red amid continuing obstacles for its merger with Commerzbank. The stocks of SAP are down by 0.5% after facing serious competition in ERP with Oracle’s NetSuite.
French index CAC 40 is up by 0.25% to 5,477.22 points. The stocks of automakers are on the rise amid trade optimism, with Renault adding 0.73% and Peugeot inching higher by 0.4%. The stocks of aircraft manufacturer Airbus are up by 1% in mid-session trading.
British stocks are inching higher on Friday with blue-chip FTSE 100 adding 12 points, or 0.16%, to 7,413.90 points. The stocks of GVC Holdings rose by 1.7% after the company grew online gaming revenues at double-digit rates while its Ladbrokes bookmaking shops had a flat first quarter ahead of the crackdown on fixed-odds betting machines that began on April 1. The shares of iron ore pellet maker Ferrexpo jumped by 2.1% after reporting that first-quarter production fell to 2.53 million tonnes from 2.58 million a year earlier, but beat market expectations.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock futures traded slightly higher Friday, as investors monitored progress in US-China trade talks and looked ahead to upcoming jobs data.
As of 03:20 a.m. ET, Dow futures were up 28 points, indicating a higher open of 26, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also in positive territory.
The traders will likely keep a close watch on upcoming US nonfarm payrolls, which are due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.