The US economy added fewer than expected jobs in April, as the non-farm payrolls printed a 160K reading versus the estimated 203K gain. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.0% while average hourly earnings rose 0.3% as expected, but previous downgrades amounted to 19K.
Still, the Dow 30 index closed 79.92 points higher to 17,740.63 (+0.45%), the S&P 500 index rose 6.51 points to 2,057.14 (+0.32%), and the Nasdaq ended 19.06 points up to 4,736.15 (+0.40%). Dow 30 index futures for June delivery are up 21.5 points (+0.12%), S&P 500 futures are up 3 points to 2,055.75 (+0.15%), and Nasdaq futures are up 3.13 points (+0.07%). The S&P 500 VIX , which is considered a gauge of market uncertainty, fell 1.19 points to 14.72 (-7.48%) to indicate the presence of risk appetite.
Asian markets down despite Chinese trade balance beat
Over the weekend, China printed a stronger than expected trade balance, with a surplus of 298 billion CNY versus expectations at 250 billion CNY. This is also significantly higher than the earlier 195 billion CNY surplus.
Components of the report indicated a gain of 4.1% for exports in yuan terms but translated to a 1.8% dip in dollar terms. Imports were down 10.8% in dollar terms to indicate weaker domestic demand.
The China A50 index is down 66.01 points to 9,328.68 (-0.70%) and futures are down 12.50 points (-0.13%). The S&P ASX 200 index is down 21.25 points to 5,271.50 (-0.39%) and futures are down 13 points (-0.25%). Meanwhile, the Nikkei is up 86.75 points to 16,193.47 (+0.54%) and futures are up 102.5 points (+0.65%).
UK markets anticipating anti-Brexit vote
UK markets ended mostly higher on Friday despite the PMI misses earlier on in the week. The London FTSE closed 8.45 points up to 6,125.70 (+0.14%) while futures are up 11.8 point (+0.19%). Pro-Brexit London mayor Boris Johnson has stepped down from his post to give way to the newly elected mayor, ramping up sentiment for a vote to stay in the EU for the June referendum.
European markets also seem poised for a stronger open in the week, as DAX futures for June delivery are up 8 points (+0.08%), French CAC 40 futures are up 12.5 points (+0.29%), and Euro Stoxx 50 futures are up 26 points (+0.90%). German factory orders data and the euro zone Sentix investor confidence index are up for release today.
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