Asian Stocks Open Higher After Wall Street Advance: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks began Friday by following Wall Street modestly higher after a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report overshadowed concerns that new coronavirus hotspots could disrupt the economic recovery.

Japanese shares edged up, with South Korea and Australia also seeing early gains. S&P 500 futures were little changed after the gauge posted a 0.5% advance Thursday, when the Nasdaq set another record. Treasury futures were steady along with the dollar, with American cash equity and bond markets shut Friday for a holiday. Gold is on course for a fourth week of gains, sitting just below $1,800 an ounce.

Investors cheered data showing payrolls rose by 4.8 million in June after an upwardly revised 2.7 million gain in the prior month. Still, Florida reported that infections and hospitalizations jumped the most yet, and Houston had a surge in intensive-care patients.

“There’s still a general positive sentiment about how quickly we’re seeing the recovery,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “But we do think you’re going to see the recovery level off, especially if we continue to see higher case numbers on the virus.”

51,174 in U.S.Most new cases today

-7% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​063 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-2.​3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May


The U.S. labor market made greater progress than expected last month digging out of a deep hole, yet optimism over the rebound was tempered by stubbornly high layoffs and a resurgent coronavirus outbreak across the country. President Donald Trump still said the report shows the economy is “roaring back.”

Elsewhere, oil came back from its highest level in almost four months. European stocks rallied on Thursday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The index gained 0.5% on Thursday.
  • Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.6%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.5%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 107.50 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan traded at 7.0695 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.1238.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined one basis point to 0.67%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield remained at 0.92%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude slid 0.9% to $40.29 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,776.12 an ounce, little changed.

— With assistance by Rita Nazareth, and Sophie Caronello

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