© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee hiring sign with a QR code is seen in a window of a business in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., April 7, 2023. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan
With the U.S. debt ceiling removed, world markets see the sky again – encouraged that robust U.S. labor markets continue to defy recession fears as interest rates near peaks.
May’s U.S. employment report later on Friday now stands as the last major data point of a shortened trading week in which June was greeted with glee by global investors.
And judged by all the other labor market soundings this week, there are few signs yet of any significant disturbance to the still-robust employment picture. Another 190,000 payrolls are expected to have been added last month.
And although markets could see the end of the debt limit saga late last week, news on Thursday that the Senate joined the House in passing legislation that lifts the ceiling and averts default has cleared the decks of one major outside risk.
With Federal Reserve officials making noises about skipping a rate hike this month as they assess a complicated macro picture, futures markets have reverted to seeing less than a one-in-three chance of a June rate rise.
And so after completing three consecutive monthly gains for the first time since 2021, the and Nasdaq surged to nine-month closing highs on Thursday. Stock futures pointed to further gains on Friday.
Wall St’s “fear index” – the gauge of implied equity volatility – hit its lowest level since November 2021 early on Friday.
The relief spread across world bourses, with MSCI’s all-country stock index adding another 0.5% on Friday and even Hong Kong’s beaten down bouncing back to record its best day in three months.
Reports that China is working on new measures to support the property market, after existing policies failed to sustain a rebound in the sector, helped the Hong Kong rally.
To the extent the dollar was bid by debt-ceiling stress and thoughts of another June Fed hike, then it’s fallen back again too.
Elsewhere, oil markets are closely watching the weekend OPEC ministers meeting – although further production cuts are not expected.
For inflation watchers, annual price declines are still running at more than 30%.
And annual world food price declines are also running at more than 20% and hit their lowest in two years, according to The United Nations food agency.
In stocks, Broadcom (NASDAQ:) shares failed to gain despite the company forecasting third-quarter revenue above market estimates on Thursday amid massive corporate investments in AI-related technologies.
But Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:) shares jumped 13% after the bell on Thursday after it raised sales and profit forecasts as wealthy Americans snap up its pricey activewear.
In politics, BRICS foreign ministersasserted their bloc’s ambition to rival Western powers but their talks in South Africa were overshadowed by questions over whether Russia’s president would be arrested if he attended a summit in August.
Events to watch for later on Friday:
* U.S. May employment report
(By Mike Dolan, editing by Sharon Singleton; email@example.com. Twitter: @reutersMikeD)