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Jobs surprise boosts sentiment

Jobs surprise boosts sentiment

A big bounce in US non-farm payrolls in June drove overnight market action. The US dollar strengthened as traders trimmed central banks support expectations, and stocks rose. In further evidence of better economic conditions, crude oil prices lifted after weekly data showed a larger than expected drawdown of stockpiles.

A record 4.8 million non-farm jobs beat consensus forecasts closer to 3 million. Numbers for May were also revised upward by 180,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down to 11.1%. Continental stocks surged by 2%-3% and base metals traded higher. Crude oil markets powered ahead on a 7.2 million barrel weekly draw on inventories, well above estimates of a 1.6 million barrel reduction.

US shares also rose initially. The S&P500 index touched a high point in morning trading, up more than 1.5%. However subsequent data and rising virus infection rates deflated enthusiasm, and US indices closed much closer to square for the session. A surprise lift in weekly unemployment claims and weaker than forecast durable goods orders weighed on growth expectations. Bonds finished well bid, and gold remains close to 7 year highs.

In a stark indication of unusual market conditions, cryptocurrencies are among the lower volatility asset classes. Cardano’s 2 day, 10% gain is the exception that proves the rule.

Asia Pacific futures indicate a positive start to regional trading. Australian retail sales are expected to rebound upward by 16.3% in May, after April’s 17.7% fall. A combination of higher regional currencies and better global growth prospects may offset the late US negative momentum.

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