– Markets in Japan, South Korea and China traded higher on
Friday while other Asia Pacific markets, including Australia, Hong
Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, were closed for a public holiday.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.5% to 22,200.56 as a number of tech stocks posted gains, with Nintendo shares jumping 14.12%.
Thursday, Chinese tech giant Tencent won an important approval to start
selling the Nintendo Switch game console in China, one of the largest
video games market in the world, Reuters reported. The Switch was first
released in 2017. U.S.-listed Nintendo ADRs rose more than 12% in the
In the currency market, the dollar index, which
measures the greenback against a basket of its peer, traded at 97.363,
climbing from levels near 96.900 earlier in the week. The Japanese yen
traded at 111.90 to the dollar, weakening from levels near 111.20 in the
Oil prices ticked up overnight following declines in crude exports from Saudi Arabia. Global benchmark Brent rose about 35 cents to $ 71.97 a barrel while U.S. crude was up 24 cents to $64.
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MONDAY – U.S. stocks were lower Monday, with the market perhaps worried about what is likely to be a tougher earnings season.
At around 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a negative open of more than 100 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were both marginally lower.
Market focus is largely attuned to corporate results, with major U.S. banks set to get the ball rolling later in the week.
Analysts have warned that the upcoming earnings season could be the first quarter of contracting corporate results since 2016.
J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are both set to report their latest figures on Friday.
Before that, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting are due to be released on Wednesday.
Following the Fed’s most recent meeting in March, the central bank decided to maintain interest rates and hold off on any further increases this year.
On the data front, factory orders for February will be published at around 10 a.m. ET.
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SUNDAY – Stocks posted their second weekly rise on Friday as stocks were boosted by better-than-expected jobs data and progress on the U.S.-China trade front.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both rose about 2% this week, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.7%. On Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed up by 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively.
Materials and financials were the best-performing sectors this week, rising 4.3% and 3.3%, respectively. Bank shares led the gains in financials. Morgan Stanley rose more than 6% this week, while Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup all ended the week up more than 5%.
The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, according to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected 175,000. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained at 3.8%. However, wage growth expanded 3.2% just below an expected gain of 3.4%.
Wall Street was looking forward to this report after the previous jobs data showed growth of just 20,000. That number was revised higher to 33,000 on Friday.
Friday’s strong jobs report comes after the release of disappointing economic data earlier in the week. Activity in the U.S. services sector fell to its lowest level since August 2017 while payrolls data released on Wednesday was also below expectations.
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