Futures Rise Ahead of Non-Farm Payrolls
U.S. equity futures rose in early pre-market trading ahead of
the monthly employment situation report following strong stances
from major global central banks this past week. Positive employment
indicators this week have led investors to believe that February's
report could be stronger than previously thought.
In other news around the markets:
China's trade surplus rose faster than expected in February, rising
$15.25 billion vs. a forecasted drop of $6.9 billion. Exports grew
faster than expected and imports fell faster than expected
contributing to this faster than expected increase in the surplus.
The Bank of Italy issued a shocking report highlighting that
Italian banks' bad loans rose by 17.5 percent in January. Spanish
industrial production continued to improve in January, falling 5
percent on expectations of a 5.2 percent drop and slower than the
previous reading of a 6.9 percent drop. S&P 500 futures rose
4.7 points to 1,542.80. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3110. Spanish
10-year government bond yields fell to 4.84 percent. Italian
10-year government bond yields fell to 4.58 percent. Gold rose 0.13
percent to $1,577.10 per ounce.
Asian shares were mostly higher save for China despite the
stronger than expected trade data as investors questioned the data
due to February being tough to estimate due to the effects of the
Lunar New Year holiday. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 2.64 percent
while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.24 percent and the Hang
Seng Index rose 1.41 percent. Also, the Korean Kospi rose 0.08
percent after North Korea declared the armistice void and
Australian shares fell 0.52 percent on weaker than expected Chinese
iron ore import data.
European shares were mostly higher ahead of the much anticipated
U.S. employment report. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.25 percent
and the Italian FTSE MIB Index rose 0.89 percent. Meanwhile, the
German DAX rose 0.57 percent and the French CAC rose 0.73 percent
while U.K. shares rose 0.37 percent.
Commodities were mostly weaker overnight on Chinese growth fears
following the iron ore import data. WTI Crude futures fell 0.11
percent to $91.47 per barrel and Brent Crude futures fell 0.6
percent to $110.48 per barrel. Copper futures fell 0.51 percent to
$350.15 per pound. Gold was higher and silver futures fell 0.29
percent to $28.73 per ounce.
Currency markets were in flux overnight following the three
large central bank decisions Thursday and ahead of the employment
report. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3110 and the dollar rose
against the yen to 95.55. Overall, the Dollar Index rose 0.12
percent on strength against the yen, the Canadian dollar, and the
Swiss franc. The Japanese yen resumed its slide overnight and the
Australian dollar slid.
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
) shares fell 0.3 percent pre-market after the NTSB released an
interim report on the Dreamliner battery investigation, detailing
the events of the battery fires but not yet attributing the fires
to one cause. Xerox (NYSE:
) shares rose 2.1 percent pre-market after the company acquired
Impika to gain access to the fast-growing commercial inkjet
printing equipment business. Citigroup (NYSE:
) shares rose 1.44 percent pre-market after its stress test results
showed it wanted to increase its buyback. Ford (NYSE:
) shares fell 0.39 percent pre-market following the weakness in
No notable companies are expected to report earnings Friday.
On the economics calendar Friday, the Employment Situation
Report is due out at 8:30 am EST. Non-Farm Payrolls are expected to
rise 171 thousand with private payrolls rising 195 thousand and the
unemployment rate falling to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent
previously. Also, Wholesale Trade data is due out later and the
Fed's Elizabeth Duke speaks tonight.
Good luck and good trading.
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