Asian Markets Mixed, U.S Futures Firm, Gasoline Jumps

10/05/2021 Markets in Asia got a lift from U.S. peers, after the S&P 500 Index hit a record on weak jobs data that added to the case for ongoing stimulus. Australia flirting with new record highs as prices of energy and other commodities surged, while Hong Kong and China underperformed. Gasoline and crude oil rose after a cyberattack forced the closure of a key U.S. pipeline. Gold up, remaining close to a three-month high. Investors are now betting that interest rates will stay low for a while thanks to a disappointing U.S. monthly job report released on Friday. Gold futures inched up 0.16% to $1,834.15. Brent crude 0.56% firm at $68.66, while WTI gained 0.52% at $65.23.

Locally, the JSE gained 1.35% to 68,519 points and the Top-40 1.41%. The rand tested the R14/$ level on Friday, closing at R14.0530 as the market waited for Moody’s Investors Service’s latest review of SA’s credit rating later on. The local currency has gained 4.27% for the month against the greenback, firming up 6.19% YTD. The ratings agency issued a brief statement saying only that the nation was among several debt issuers whose rating was not updated on May 7 as per its calendar. S&P is due to release its SA country review on May 21 while Moody’s next ratings review is scheduled for November 19. Fitch does not specify review dates.

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European markets pushed higher on Friday, boosted by strong S&P500, an upbeat outlook from sportswear maker Adidas and reports that UK aerospace engineer Meggitt could be a takeover target. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.89%to a record high of 444.93. Germany’s Dax notched up 1.34%, alongside FTSE 100 advancing 0.76%0.86%. The US economy added 266,000 jobs in April, well below the consensus of one million (950,000) that was predicted.

Wall Street 0shook off the surprise shortfall in US jobs in April and pushed higher. I suppose, one month’s data prove nothing; payrolls could rebound massively in May. The Dow closed up 0.66%, alongside the S&P500 setting a new record high to gain 0.74% to 4,232.60, while the Nasdaq saw the session out 0.88% stronger too. U.S futures in positive territory this a.m.

Here are some key events to watch this week:
• A range of Fed speakers are due this week: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans on the economic outlook Monday and U.S. Fed Governor Lael Brainard on Tuesday, among others
• Chinese inflation data are due Tuesday
• OPEC monthly Oil Market Report is published with global demand forecasts and production estimates Tuesday
• U.S. CPI report Wednesday is forecast to show prices continued to increase in April
• Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey speaks Wednesday

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.35%. Japan’s rose 0.50% in morning trading and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 0.95%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.49% (Tencent off balance 0.75%), while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.43%. The regional gains are coming despite a recent surge in coronavirus infections in Asia. In Japan, worries are growing about tens of thousands of athletes and officials entering the country for the Tokyo Olympics, set to open in July. The Tokyo Olympics organizers are promising stringent measures to prevent clusters and testing the athletes and officials regularly for infections.