Friday April 5th


Dow futures jump 100 points after better-than-expected jobs report

U.S. stock index futures rose to their session highs on Friday on the back of stronger-than-expected U.S. employment data. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 100 points following the data release while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also higher. The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a print of 175,000. However, wage growth expanded 3.2%, below an expected gain of 3.4%. Wall Street was looking forward to this report after the previous jobs data showed growth of just 20,000. That number was revised higher to 33,000 on Friday. On Thursday, the Dow closed more than 150 points higher, while the S&P 500 notched its first six-day winning streak since February, buoyed by positive trade news. Investors continued to digest the latest developments in trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing on Friday. President Donald Trump said Thursday that swift progress had been made, adding "we'll know over the next four weeks" whether a deal can be reached. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, meanwhile, said new consensus had been reached by both countries on the text of a trade agreement, according to official state news agency Xinhua. Markets in Asia edged up on Friday as hopes rise on a potential trade deal between China and the U.S. The Nikkei 225 in Japan advanced 0.38% to close at 21,807.50. The Topix index also added 0.35% to finish at 1,625.75. Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.14% to close at 2,209.61. The stock markets in China and Hong Kong were closed on Friday for a holiday. Oil prices declined on Friday, with Brent slipping away from the $70 mark reached the previous day, but both main contracts were set for weekly gains due to mounting geopolitical risks. Brent crude futures dropped 16 cents to $69.24 a barrel around 8:20 a.m. ET (1220 GMT), having touched $70.03 in the previous session, the highest since Nov. 12. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 12 cents a barrel to $61.98, having hit their highest since Nov. 7 on Wednesday at $62.99. Brent and WTI are on track for their second and fifth consecutive weeks of gains respectively, capped by concerns that an economic slowdown could dent fuel consumption. Gold prices slipped on Friday as global stocks firmed and the dollar rose against the yen, but bullion held above a 10-week low touched in the previous session. Spot gold slipped 0.33 percent to $1,289.90 per ounce, after touching its lowest since Jan. 25 at $1,280.59 on Thursday. The metal was down about 0.2 percent so far for the week. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.31 percent at $1,290.60 an ounce.