European stocks rose alongside US equity futures on Thursday as investors monitored a slew of corporate earnings ahead of key employment data from the world’s largest economy. The dollar slipped.
The Stoxx 600 Index opened higher as banks and automakers gained on strong earnings. Societe Generale SA jumped after turning in its best equities-trading performance since 2015. Volkswagen AG raised its earnings outlook following robust first-quarter earnings. The pound was little changed ahead of the latest policy decision from the Bank of England.
Contracts on the S&P 500 Index advanced as traders awaited the latest jobless claims data due later on Thursday. With a raft of recent measures pointing to a rebound in the US economy and commodity prices surging, there’s fierce debate over whether price pressures could get out of hand. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index returned to its highest level since 2011 as Brent crude hovered at around $69 a barrel.
Ahead of the latest US employment figures, investors are increasingly focused on when the Federal Reserve might start throttling back its emergency support. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the Fed will announce a reduction in the pace of bond purchases in the fourth quarter. While Chair Jerome Powell hasn’t yet shifted from his message that it’s too soon to discuss such a move, policy makers have begun to address the issue more directly.
Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren suggested that the US mortgage market no longer needs as much support, advancing the debate on when the central bank might start tapering its monthly bond purchases. Meanwhile, the US Treasury’s auction schedule suggested the government’s financing needs may have peaked.
With Covid-19 cases starting to roll over, “reopening prospects should improve again, and the reflation trade should gather steam again over the coming months,” Esty Dwek, head of global market strategy at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, said in a note. “The medium-term supports for equities remain unchanged.”
Elsewhere, Asia stocks were mixed, with shares falling in China as officials announced a formal suspension of an economic dialogue with Australia, a further deterioration of relations between the two countries.
Here are some key events to watch this week:
- Bank of England rate decision Thursday
- The April US employment report is released on Friday
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index advanced 0.3% as of 8:19 a.m. London time.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 0.6%.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.2%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.1%.
- The euro jumped 0.1% to $1.2023.
- The British pound was little changed at $1.3906.
- The onshore yuan weakened 0.1% to 6.479 per dollar.
- The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 109.30 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased one basis point to 1.57%.
- The yield on two-year Treasuries gained less than one basis point to 0.15%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to -0.24%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield sank two basis points to 0.802%.
- Japan’s 10-year yield decreased one basis point to 0.091%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $65.62 a barrel.
- Brent crude increased 0.1% to $69.05 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 0.3% to $1,793.05 an ounce.