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    European Markets Shuttle, while US Equity Futures Advance – May 6

    Asian Markets Mixed, and Oil Prices Continue Being High

    On Thursday, European stocks shuttled between gains and losses. US equity futures, by contrast, advanced, as investors scrutinized a new dose of corporate earnings and waited for the US main employment data due on Friday. The data is expected to show that nonfarm payrolls increased by 978,000 jobs in April. Contracts on the S&P 500 Index increased.

    Among companies that reported positive earnings results on Thursday were Societe Generale SA and Anheuser-Busch InBev. After Societe Generale reported the best equities-trading performance since 2015, its shares climbed 2.86%. When  Anheuser-Busch InBev posted the outstanding quarterly results, it moved 4.65% higher. Companies making vaccines took a dive, after the European Union gave a green light to a plan to discuss waiving vaccine-patent protections. The dollar retreated. 

    Analysts expect the Federal Reserve to announce a reduction in the pace of bond purchases in the fourth quarter. Although Chair Jerome Powell maintains that it is still early to address the reduction in the pace of bond purchases, policy makers are already beginning to discuss this subject.

    In Europe, the Bank of England published the outcome of its latest rate-setting committee meeting and economic forecast. It said that Britain’s economy would have a strong recovery this year, much stronger than had previously been expected. The Bank of England would also slow down its pandemic emergency support. In addition to the BoE’s announcement, investors also continued discussing Scotland’s elections liable to create a showdown with Boris Johnson over a new independence referendum. 

    Asian shares were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1.8%. MSCI’s Index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan increased 0.19%. Chinese shares, reopened today after a five-week holiday, faltered. The CS1300 shed 1.2%, hit by losses in biotech companies. As a further sign of worsening relationships between the two countries, the Chinese government announced that it would have no economic dialogue with Australia. This announcement also reflected badly on the Chinese markets. 

    Oil prices continued gaining on Thursday, nearly reaching their March highs, boosted by a radical fall of crude stockpiles in the United States. US crude futures traded at $65.91 per barrel, up 0.4%. This mark is just slightly lower than yesterday’s two-month top of $66.76.

    These are the main moves in markets on Thursday:

    Stocks

    S&P 500 Index Futures grew 0.1% during the early trading session in London. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gave up 0.1%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.7%. The MSCI Emerging Market Index added 0.3%. 

    Currencies

    The euro advanced 0.3% to $1.2038. The British pound stayed unchanged at $1.3901. The onshore yuan remained unchanged at 6.475 per dollar. The Japanese yen retreated 0.1% to 109.29 per dollar. The AUD/USD pair changed hands at 0.7753, up 0.08%. USD/CAD lost 0.18% to $1.2245. USD/CHF retreated 0.41% to 0.9093 per the greenback.

    Commodities

    West Texas Intermediate crude gave up 0.4% to $65.38 a barrel. Brent crude shed 0.3% to $68.76 a barrel. Gold advanced 0.4% to $1,739.56 an ounce. Silver was 1.1% up to $26.83 per ounce. Platinum gained 0.80% to $1,238.35 per ounce. Copper climbed 0.7% to $455.60. 

    Bonds

    The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased less than one basis point to 1.57%. The yield on two-year Treasuries added less than one basis point to 0.15%. Germany’s 10-year yield lost less than one basis point to -0.23%. Britain’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.801%. Japan’s 10-year yield slid one basis point to 0.09%.

    Looking forward

    Traders should pay attention to the following events on Thursday and Friday:

    • The Bank of England rate decision is published on Thursday.
    • The April U.S. employment report is released on Friday.

    Have a productive trading day!

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