TOKYO – Global markets were mostly lower in nervous trading Friday ahead of a closely watched U.S. jobs-report that may influence interest rate decisions and the value of the U.S. dollar.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 fell 0.7 per cent to 4,291.21 in early trading, and Germany’s DAX lost 0.5 per cent to 9,807.78. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.4 per cent lower to 6,092.90. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures inching down 0.01 per cent to 17,563 and S&P 500 futures also lower by 0.04 per cent at 2,043.
U.S. JOBS: Markets are focusing on the U.S. jobs report for April, due out later in the day. Investors are watching to see if it might affect the Federal Reserve’s plans for raising interest rates at its next policy meeting in June. Economists expect the report to show jobs grew by 200,000 last month while the unemployment rate stayed at 5 per cent.
THE QUOTE: “The key theme this week has been that the U.S. dollar managed to hold on to its gains across major currencies,” said Alex Wijaya, senior sales trader & institutional sales at CMC Markets Singapore. “The biggest question is how the U.S. dollar will perform tonight in light of the U.S. non-farm payrolls announcement.”
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 per cent to 16,106.72 as Tokyo resumed trading after the three-day “Golden Week” national holidays. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.2 per cent higher to 5,292.00, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.7 per cent to 20,109.87. The Shanghai Composite sank 2.8 per cent to 2,913.25. Markets were closed in South Korea for a national holiday.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 27 cents to $44.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 54 cents on Thursday to $44.32 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 18 cents at $44.83 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1426 from $1.1490 and the dollar fell to 106.92 yen from 107.10 yen.
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