Global Stock Markets Subdued Ahead of US Jobs Data

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks advanced Friday while European markets opened lower as investors waited for U.S. jobs data that could help determine whether, or how soon, the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.

Analysts expect a solid 165,000 increase in the monthly non-farm payrolls for June, and a weak number could push the Fed to act soon to help the economy. The central bank has said it is prepared to cut rates if trade disputes with China crimp growth.

Investors expect central banks to become more prone to lower interest rates, analysts at IHS Markit said in a report. “All incoming data will be scrutinized for last-minute policy signals.”

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In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 declined 0.2% to 7,587, France’s CAC 40 was 0.3% lower at 5,601 and Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.2% to 12,594.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 0.1%. U.S. markets were closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 3,011.06 and Toyko’s Nikkei 225 added 0.2% to 21,746.38. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.5% to 6,751.30 and Seoul’s Kospi was 0.1% higher at 2,110.59. Taiwan and New Zealand also advanced.

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.1% to 28,774.83 and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.

Last weekend’s agreement by U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping to refrain from new tariffs pending a new round of negotiations has relieved some pressure on markets, pushing U.S. indexes to record highs.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Thursday he expected to announce new negotiations soon. Still, forecasters warn the truce is fragile because the two sides still face the disputes that caused talks to break down in May.

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ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 49 cents to $56.85 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.09 on Thursday to close at $57.34. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 25 cents to $63.55 per barrel in London. It lost 52 cents the previous session to $63.30.

CURRENCY: The dollar advanced to 108.08 yen from Thursday’s 107.83 yen. The euro declined to $1.1265 from $1.1286.


By AP reporter Joe McDonald


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