Friday September 1st


US stock futures hold higher despite disappointing jobs data

U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday despite the release of a disappointing jobs report. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 67 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 7.25 points and 26.25 points, respectively. The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in August. Economists polled by Reuters expected 180,000 jobs to have been added last month. In addition to missing estimates, previous months' job totals also were cut. June was revised down from 231,000 to 210,000 while July fell from the initially reported 209,000 to 189,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Investors were closely watching out for the report as they looked for clues about the Federal Reserve's next monetary policy move. Following on from the latest jobs numbers, investors will then be turning their attention to manufacturing PMI and manufacturing ISM report on business, due out at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET respectively. Consumer sentiment and construction spending will also come out at 10 a.m. ET. Sticking with the U.S., the repercussions of Hurricane Harvey continues to leave its mark on markets, with investors wondering how much damage the natural disaster will have on the economy and sectors like energy and insurance. Oil prices slipped into the red on Friday, with U.S. crude hovering around $47.14 per barrel at 8:36 a.m. ET, while Brent last stood around $52.68. Meanwhile, politics will be at the back of investors' minds, after markets showed signs of turbulence earlier this week on the back of tensions brewing in North Korea. While concerns around geopolitics appear to have subsided in recent sessions, investors will still be on edge in case of any fresh news that emerges. Friday will also mark the start of the U.S. State Department's ban on US passport holders travel to North Korea. Overseas, European stocks were trading higher, while markets in Asia closed on a relatively positive note following strong data out of China. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.23 percent, or 45.23 points, to close at 19,691.47. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi gave up early gains to slide 0.23 percent to end at 2,357.69. The benchmark index finished the month of August lower after eight consecutive months of gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was nearly flat, edging down 0.02 percent to 27,963.6 by 3:01 p.m. HK/SIN, after climbing above the 28,000 level earlier in the session. On Monday, the index had crossed the 28,000 mark for the first time since May 2015. Mainland markets climbed after the Caixin PMI data release: On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite advanced 0.19 percent, or 6.4901 points, to close at 3,367.3004, and the Shenzhen Composite added 0.587 percent, or 11.4134 points, to end at 1,956.3525. Gold surged higher on Friday as investors reacted to U.S. jobs data for direction on interest rates, while safe-haven demand kept prices high as tensions over North Korea lingered. Spot gold rose 0.4 percent percent to $1,326.83 per ounce. U.S. gold futures were up 0.64 percent to $1,331.10 per ounce and hit a high of $1,334.50 after the release of U.S. employment data Friday, the highest level since the night of the U.S. presidential election on November 9.