Stock markets in Europe and the U.S. closed the day in the green despite the recent rally and reversal in crude oil. The Dow 30 index was up 83.55 points to 17,716.66 (+0.47%), the S&P 500 index landed 8.94 points up to 2,063.95 (+0.44%), and the Nasdaq closed 22.67 points up to 4,869.29 (+0.47%).
Data from the US came in mixed, as the ADP non-farm employment change report showed a larger than expected 200K increase in hiring for March while the previous reading was downgraded. Initial jobless claims and Chicago PMI are up for release today but stocks to could trade carefully ahead of Friday’s NFP.
The S&P 500 VIX, which is considered a gauge of market uncertainty, edged 0.26 points down to 13.56 (-1.88%) to indicate a rise in risk appetite. Crude oil prices initially rallied on the EIA report of a smaller buildup in inventories of 2.4 million barrels versus the projected gain of 3.1 million barrels, but the commodity pared its gains when the OPEC report showed that the cartel ramped up production by 100K barrels per day in March.
In Europe, the German DAX closed 158.67 points up to 10,046.61 (+1.60%) and the French CAC 40 ended up with a gain of 77.75 points to 4,444.42 (+1.78%). In the United Kingdom, the London FTSE was up 97.27 points to 6,203.17 (+1.59%).
Asian stocks mixed ahead of NFP, China PMI
Although the Fed already expressed its intention to keep borrowing costs low for much longer, investors are still wary ahead of potentially strong US jobs data on Friday which might convince policymakers to reconsider hiking interest rates. Analysts are expecting to see a 206K gain in hiring, lower than the previous 242K increase.
Also due on Friday are China’s PMI readings for March, with both the official and Caixin versions of the report estimated to show small improvements. Stronger than expected data could bring risk appetite back to the table, which might be positive for equities, while weak results could lead to outflows.
The China A50 index is up 3.88 points to 9,627.23 (+0.04%), the Hang Seng is down 6.89 points to 20,796.50 (-0.03%), and the S&P ASX 200 is up 63.33 points to 5,073.60 (+1.26%). Australian private sector credit rose 0.6% in March, higher than the projected 0.5% increase, while HIA new home sales slumped 5.3% in February.
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