Friday July 6th

6-07-2018

Stock futures go positive after better-than-expected jobs report

U.S. stock index futures pointed to slight gains at the open on Friday after a stronger-than-expected jobs report. Around 8:33 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 24 points, indicating a gain of 27.26. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 4.75 points and 22 points, respectively. The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, while economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 195,000. Unemployment, however, rose slightly to 4 percent from 3.8 percent. Stock future gains were capped, however, as a trade war between the U.S. and China got under way. U.S. tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods came into effect earlier on Friday. China responded to the fresh tariffs by imposing its own retaliatory levies on imports from the States. A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce stated Friday that while Beijing had refused to “fire the first shot,” it was obligated to counter the U.S.’ actions after Washington “launched the largest trade war in economic history.” Futures traded lower earlier on Friday, with Dow futures sliding nearly 100 points. Trade-war fears have been simmering for months, keeping market gains in check as investors fret over the impact of tariffs on corporate profits. Asian stocks bounced back to recover on the last trading day of the week, with most markets finishing the session higher. Investors were watching developments on the trade front as a deadline for tariffs from the U.S. and China to take effect passed on Friday. After losses earlier in the day, China markets sprung back slightly, with the benchmark Shanghai composite up 0.46 percent to close at 2,746.48. The smaller Shenzhen composite also recovered slightly, rising 0.48 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.47 percent to close at 28,313.74. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.12 percent to close at 21,788.14 as most sectors rebounded after the benchmark's three consecutive sessions of declines. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.68 percent and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.91 percent to close at 6,272.30, owing in part to convincing gains in the materials and telecommunications sectors. Oil slipped towards $77 a barrel on Friday, under pressure from higher Saudi production and trade tensions between the United States and China, although oil supply disruptions lent support. Top exporter Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised oil output by almost 500,000 barrels per day last month, OPEC sources said, a sign Riyadh wants to make up for shortages elsewhere and dampen prices. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 19 cents at $77.20 a barrel by 0910 GMT. U.S. crude slipped 2 cents to $72.92. Gold slipped on Friday after key U.S. payrolls data, while global equities stood firm, though the precious metal was on course for slight gains for the week as the dollar drifts lower amid escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions. Spot gold was 0.1 percent lower at $1,256.70 an ounce, having dropped to $1,252.15 earlier in the session. It was, however, headed for its first weekly gain in the past four weeks. U.S. gold futures for August delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $1,257.10 an ounce.