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By JustMarkets

As of Thursday’s stock market close, the Dow Jones Index (US30) was up by 0.35% (+1.41% for the week). The S&P 500 Index (US500) added 1.07% yesterday (+1.34% for the week). The NASDAQ Technology Index (US100) closed positive by 1.74% (+1.02% for the week).

Friday’s economic news from the US was better than expected and favorable for the dollar. Non-farm payrolls for January rose by 353,000, which exceeded expectations of 185,000 and was the largest increase in a year. The unemployment rate for January was unchanged at 3.7%, indicating a stronger labor market than expectations of an increase to 3.8%. In addition, average hourly earnings for January rose 0.6% m/m and 4.5% y/y, which was stronger than expectations of 0.3% m/m and 4.1% y/y. Finally, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for January was revised upward by 0.2 to a 2-year high of 79.0, exceeding expectations of 78.9.

In an interview on the “60 Minutes” program, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank will be cautious about cutting rates this year and will wait for more evidence that inflation is falling steadily to 2%. He added that the Fed is likely to act much more slowly than the market expects. Traders have now cut bets on a March rate cut to 20% and see total easing this year at 137 basis points, down from 150 basis points at the end of last year.

Equity markets in Europe were mostly down yesterday. Germany’s DAX (DE40) gained by 0.35% (-0.04% for the week), France’s CAC 40 (FR40) gained 0.05% on Friday (-0.66% for the week), Spain’s IBEX 35 (ES35) jumped by 0.48% on Friday (+1.25% for the week), and UK’s FTSE 100 (UK100) closed by negative 0.09% (-0.26% for the week).

Trade data from Germany showed a sharper-than-expected decline in both exports and imports in the final month of 2023. The UK unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the lowest since February through April 2023. A strong labor market could push back the likelihood of a rate cut by the Bank of England, which is favorable for the British currency.

WTI crude futures consolidated above $72 a barrel on Monday after falling sharply last week as investors continued to monitor developments in the Middle East. Oil prices fell more than 7% last week as progress in ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas eased fears of supply disruptions from the region. Fading expectations of an immediate interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve and lingering concerns about China’s economic recovery also weighed on the outlook for global demand. Meanwhile, the US said it would take further military action against Iranian-backed groups, raising tensions in the Middle East, though insisting it did not seek a wider conflict in the region.

Asian markets traded mixed last week. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (JP225) was up by 1.46% for the week, China’s FTSE China A50 (CHA50) was down by 3.23%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HK50) ended the week down by 4.32%, and Australia’s ASX 200 (AU200) ended the week positive by 0.87%.

Asian equity markets mostly fell on Monday as strong US jobs data and another Powell rejection further undermined sentiment for a Fed rate cut. Hong Kong and Chinese stocks led the fall even after Chinese regulators vowed to prevent abnormal market swings. China’s overall Caixin PMI for January 2024 was 52.5, down from December’s 7-month high of 52.6, marking the 13th month of growth in private sector activity.

S&P 500 (US500) 4,958.61 +52.42 (+1.07%)

Dow Jones (US30) 38,654.42 +134.58 (+0.35%)

DAX (DE40) 16,918.21 +59.17 (+0.35%)

FTSE 100 (UK100) 7,615.54 −6.62 (−0.09%)

USD Index 103.05 +0.82 (+0.82%)

News feed for 2024.02.05:

  • – US Fed Chair Powell Speaks at 02:00 (GMT+2);
  • – Australia Trade Balance (m/m) at 02:30 (GMT+2);
  • – Japan Services PMI (m/m) at 02:30 (GMT+2);
  • – German Trade Balance (m/m) at 09:00 (GMT+2);
  • – German Services PMI (m/m) at 10:55 (GMT+2);
  • – Eurozone Services PMI (m/m) at 11:00 (GMT+2);
  • – UK Services PMI (m/m) at 11:30 (GMT+2);
  • – Eurozone Producer Price Index (m/m) at 12:00 (GMT+2);
  • – US ISM Services PMI (m/m) at 17:00 (GMT+2);
  • – US FOMC Member Bostic Speaks at 21:00 (GMT+2).

By JustMarkets


This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, and/or a guarantee, and/or a forecast of future events.

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