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Jobs Report Nudges The Dollar Lower: 5 Things The Global Markets Are Talking About Today

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The U.S. added 157,000 jobs in July and employment dipped to 3.9 percent according to non-farm payroll figures released Friday morning.  The report fell shy of economists' projected 195,000 jobs, but the Labor Department revised figures for both May and June higher.

President Trump's unpredictability on trade is keeping capital markets on the back foot and a theme that is not expected to change anytime soon.

China announced plans to slap tariffs on an additional $60 billion of American goods if the Trump administration moves forward with its threats to escalate the trade war.

Worries over protectionism has this week punished global stocks despite a stronger earnings season, supported lower sovereign yields and pushed G10 currency pairs to new weekly lows outright. The Chinese yuan is on track to complete an eighth week decline – its longest losing streak in 25-years.

Elsewhere, Turkish assets and lira remain under pressure after the U.S. imposed sanctions on two government ministers over the detention of an evangelical pastor.

In commodities, oil prices have touched a new two-week low on U.S. crude inventories supply concerns, while gold prices remains choppy.

With all this and more in mind, here are five things the global markets are talking about Friday, August 3.

1. Stocks End The Week Mixed

In Japan overnight, the Nikkei managed to make a small gain partly due to a sharp rise in Suzuki motors (8.6 percent on earnings). The Nikkei average ended 0.06 percent higher, while the broader Topix fell 0.54 percent to a three-week closing low on Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

Down-under, Aussie shares closed out lower, pressured by the latest exchange of trade threats between the U.S. and China, a major market for Australia's resources exports. At close of trade, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.10 percent lower. In South Korea, the Kospi was 0.77 percent higher.

In Hong Kong and China, stocks edged lower, dragged down by fears of slowing growth on the mainland, a vaccine scandal that weighed on healthcare shares and persistent worries over the Sino-U.S. trade war. The Hang Seng index fell 0.1 percent, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.4 percent. In China at the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1 percent. For the week, the index lost 4.6 percent, its worst performance in five months, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 1.65 percent. It lost 5.9 percent for the week.

In Europe, regional bourses trade sideways despite misses in macro-data. Geopolitical concerns continue to be main theme, with concerns on trade and Brexit negotiation.

2. Oil Prices Edge Down, Gold At A Record Low

Oil prices are down in early trading as the market re-focuses on the bearish longer term factors following Thursday's rally on a report that U.S. crude stocks in a key facility fell to their lowest in nearly four-years.

Brent crude futures are at $73.15 per barrel, down 30c from Thursday's close, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures are at $68.70 per barrel, down 26 cents from their close.

EIA data Thursday showed that inventories at the key Cushing storage hub in Oklahoma fell by 1.3 million barrels, the lowest level in four-years.

However, overall U.S. crude oil inventories actually rose by 3.8 million barrels last week to 408.74 million.

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the U.A.E have increased production to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once planned U.S. sanctions come into effect.

Earlier this morning, China, Iran's biggest customer, rejected a U.S. request to cut imports from the OPEC member.

Ahead of the U.S. open, gold prices have fallen to their lowest print in over a year amid a strong U.S. dollar – another loss would be the fourth consecutive weekly. Spot gold is down 0.1 percent at $1,206.05 an ounce. For the week, the yellow metal is down about 1.4 percent.

3. Most Sovereign Yields Fall

Turkish data this morning showed that domestic inflation has rallied to a 15-year high of 15.8 percent year-over-year last month. Numbers like this certainly strengthens the case for further interest rate hikes, however, the central bank faces pressure from the government not to do so.

In Italy, budget concerns have sent the 10-year BTP yields back above the 3.05 percent to a 10-week high, while lower down the curve, Italian 2- and 5-year BTP yields have backed up 22-25 bps.

BoE's Governor Carney in an interview this morning stated that interest rates would not hit the +5% pre-crisis level for a long time. He reiterated that one rate hike per year could be seen as a rule of thumb and that the possibility of a no-deal Brexit was uncomfortably high.

In Germany, the 10-year Bund yield fell -3 bps to 0.43 percent, while in the U.K. the 10-year Gilt yield dipped 2 bps to +1.377 percent.

4. Dollar Gets The Green Light

The dollar maintained a firm tone heading into the U.S. open.

EUR/USD (€1.1572) dipped to test new one-month lows as Italian bond yields backed up as Italy Finance Minister Tria holds a top-level budget meeting.

GBP (£1.2997) remains a notable underperformer among G10 currencies despite the fact that BoE officials Thursday unanimously voted to hike 25 bps. The market is interpreting the BoE's decision as a dovish hike. Others are arguing that the BoE is heading towards a policy mistake amid heightened Brexit uncertainty.

TRY ($5.0783) managed to hit a fresh record low overnight ($5.1100). However, slightly better Turkish CPI data helped to push the Lira off its record lows.

China's Yuan is poised for its longest weekly losing streak on record on continued concerns over a potential trade war. The CNY currency is heading for its eighth weekly decline with USD/CNY approaching the $6.90 area.

CNY is off its worst levels overnight after a large Chinese bank was seen selling USD. It traded as low as ¥6.8965 before paring some of those losses to ¥6.8715.

5. U.K Services PMI Falls

Data this morning showed the purchasing managers' survey on U.K. services-sector activity falling to 53.5 in July, missing expectations for 54.7. This morning's miss reinforces market concerns about weakness in the British economy over Brexit uncertainty.

According to Markit, who compile the survey, "service providers commented that Brexit uncertainty had held back new project wins, reflecting risk aversion and a wait-and-see approach to investment spending among international clients."

Related Links:

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U.S. Unemployment Drops Back Below 4%, Nonfarm Payroll Falls Far Short Of Expectations

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: News Emerging Markets Eurozone Commodities Politics Forex Treasuries Global

 

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