World markets drift ahead of U.S. jobs report

HONG KONG - World stock markets were uneven Friday as investors awaited U.S. job numbers that could influence how much the Fed raises interest rates this year.

See Full Article

Japanese shares sagged on the strengthening yen.

KEEPING SCORE: European benchmarks were mixed in early trading. France's CAC 40 rose 0.6 per cent to 4,255.33 while Germany's DAX dipped 0.2 per cent to 9,378.43. Britain's FTSE climbed 0.2 per cent to 5,911.46. U.S. stocks were poised to open lower. Dow futures lost 0.1 per cent to 16,318.00 and broader S&P 500 futures edged 0.1 per cent lower to 1,904.60.

JANUARY JOBS: Market attention is focused on the U.S. government's employment report for last month, which will be released later Friday after Asian markets have closed. Analysts expect a solid 200,000 jobs to be added, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 5 per cent. However, weaker than expected figures would add to other downbeat economic data that's been piling up in recent days, including contracting U.S. and Chinese factory activity and a disappointing U.S. service sector index. Taken together, it could all be used to support the case for the Fed putting off further interest rate hikes, a prospect that's already helped push down the dollar.

ANALYST VIEW: "What's worrying the markets is some Fed policymakers' belief that recent developments are not sufficiently serious or persistent to warrant a material change in the central bank's outlook and view on the gradual path of the rate hike cycle," IG market strategist Bernard Aw wrote in a commentary. "The expectations disparity will heighten market volatility."

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.3 per cent to close at 16,819.59 as the dollar weakened against the yen, hurting shares of the country's export producers. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1 per cent to 1,917.79, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.6 per cent to 19,288.17 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China shed 0.6 per cent to 2,763.49. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1 per cent to 4,976.20. Benchmarks in Southeast Asia rose. Trading volumes in Asia will be muted as many exchanges shut for all or part of the Lunar New Year holiday next week.

ENERGY: Oil futures retreated, with benchmark U.S. crude down 16 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $31.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 56 cents to settle at $31.72 on Thursday after jumping 8 per cent the day before. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil prices, lost 46 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $34 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 116.81 yen from 116.96 yen in the previous day's trading, bringing its loss for the week to 3.5 per cent. The euro eased to $1.1194 from $1.1199, its highest in more than three months.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Bank of Canada stands pat again, keeps key interest rate at 0.5%

    Economic CBC News
    The Bank of Canada has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is, citing a possible slowdown of the economy. While the economy gained steam through the last half of 2016, it predicts a slowdown ahead, which is why it has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is for now. Source
  • ECB seen expanding stimulus amid Trump, Italy uncertainties

    Economic CTV News
    FRANKFURT -- Faced with weak growth and inflation across the 19-country eurozone, the European Central Bank is expected to extend its stimulus program for at least another six months when it concludes its latest policy meeting on Thursday. Source
  • Average Canadian now owes $22,081, but we're managing to pay it off

    Economic CBC News
    The average Canadian now owes $22,081 in consumer debt, a figure that doesn't include any mortgages, debt monitoring firm Equifax says. In a report released Wednesday, Equifax says the debt figure increased by 3.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period a year ago. Source
  • Pfizer fined for hiking epilepsy drug price 2,600 per cent in U.K.

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- British regulators fined U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and distributor Flynn Pharma a record 89.4 million pounds ($112.7 million) Wednesday for increasing the cost of an epilepsy drug by as much as 2,600 per cent. Source
  • PrivateBancorp delays shareholder vote on takeover deal with CIBC

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- PrivateBancorp Inc. is delaying a shareholder vote on a proposed takeover of the company by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM) that was set for Thursday. The U.S. bank, which says it remains committed to the deal, says a new date for the meeting is expected to be set for early in the first quarter of next year. Source
  • Thousands of Bangladesh kids working 64 hours a week: study

    Economic CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Thousands of Bangladeshi children who live in the capital's slums are working illegally for an average of 64 hours a week, with many employed by the garment industry making clothing for top global brands, according to a report released Wednesday. Source
  • Dollarama reports third-quarter profit and sales up from year ago

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL) saw its third-quarter profit grow to nearly $110.1 million compared with nearly $100.1 million in the same quarter a year ago. The retailer says the profit amounted to 92 cents per diluted share, up from 78 cents per diluted share a year a year ago when it had more shares outstanding. Source
  • NHL to move to new 67-storey tower on Manhattan's west side

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League is moving its headquarters to a 67-storey office tower under construction on Manhattan's west side. Developer Brookfield Property Partners announced Wednesday the NHL will move from its current location in midtown to the tower that will be known as One Manhattan West. Source
  • EU fines 3 banks $520 million over rate market rigging

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- European Union regulators on Wednesday fined banks JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Credit Agricole a combined $520 million for colluding to manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates. EU antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the banks illegally exchanged sensitive information and colluded to make big profits in the market on the specialized financial products. Source
  • Consumer debt and delinquency rates climb in third quarter: Equifax

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - A new Equifax Canada report says low interest rates and falling oil prices drove up consumer debt and delinquency rates in the third quarter. The credit reporting agency found that average debt increased by 3.6 per cent to $22,081 in the quarter ended Sept. Source