Investor Optimism Over Reopening Lifts Markets Ahead of Jobs Report
By Avantika Chilkoti and Joanne Chiu
A broad rally in markets early Friday showed investor optimism
was building even as the latest unemployment data from the U.S. was
expected to show that serious pain for workers continued last
Futures tied to the S&P 500 gained 0.9% ahead of the opening
bell in New York, suggesting U.S. stocks could rise Friday. The
yield on 10-year U.S. Treasurys jumped to 0.854% from 0.818%
Thursday, the highest since late March. Bond yields often rise as
investors expect economic growth -- and inflation -- to pick up in
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 benchmark rose 1.5% early
Friday, with France's CAC 40 rallying 2.2% and Germany's DAX
benchmark rising 2.1%. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng benchmark
rose 1.7% and South Korea's Kospi rallied 1.4%.
Investors are optimistic that job cuts have been focused in
sectors like services and temporary work, where jobs are
traditionally cut -- and re-added -- relatively swiftly.
"The market is focused on the speed and method of reopening and
taking comfort from China where you've seen a resumption that is
pretty quick," said Thushka Maharaj, global multiasset strategist
at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
"Re-employing in these sectors does happen organically and you
would expect that as reopening happens in earnest some of these
jobs will come back," she added.
May's jobs report, out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Friday, is
expected to reveal a further wave of job losses and an unemployment
rate climbing to a fresh post-World War II high.
But investors appeared to be looking past the carnage in the job
market and the widespread protests in U.S. cities over the killing
of George Floyd and focused on the economy getting back to its feet
after months of coronavirus-related lockdown.
The dollar weakened, with the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures
the U.S. currency against 16 others, declining 0.3% to 90.98. The
index hasn't settled below 91 since early March.
"If we see more dollar weakness that will help to give investors
confirmation that there's an all clear," said Gregory Perdon,
co-chief investment officer at private bank Arbuthnot Latham. "As
an investor, when you see the dollar strengthening you see a
challenging environment and a flight to safety," he said.
The recent stock-market surge was partly driven by massive
stimulus, plus optimism over "the loosening of restrictions across
the world and the expectations that we could see a V-shaped
recovery," according to Daryl Liew, chief investment officer at
"However, we haven't really seen that in the broader economy
yet," Mr. Liew said, adding that further government intervention
might be needed to support businesses if activity doesn't rebound
by the third quarter.
Bank stocks extended gains from Thursday with the Euro Stoxx
Banks benchmark rallying 4.2%. Among the biggest gainers in Europe,
Société Générale and BNP Paribas gained 6.7% and 5.2%,
On Thursday, the European Central Bank scaled up its bond-buying
program, while Germany adopted its second economic-stimulus package
since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's a step in the right direction from the European leaders
and shows some unity," said Brian O'Reilly, head of market strategy
for Mediolanum International Funds. Rising bond yields help banks,
which borrow short-term to lend long-term, boosting profitability.
The yield on 10-year German government bonds ticked up to negative
0.295% from negative 0.316% on Thursday.
In commodities, Brent crude, the global benchmark, rallied 2.5%
to $40.97 a barrel.
Write to Avantika Chilkoti at Avantika.Chilkoti@wsj.com and
Joanne Chiu at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 05, 2020 05:51 ET (09:51 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.