World shares track Wall St’s advance fueled by cooler jobs data

Hong Kong, May 6 (BNA): World shares were mostly higher on Monday after Wall Street ended last week with the market’s best day in more than two months in a rally backed by cooler-than-expected U.S. employment data.

European markets started the day with gains. Germany’s DAX edged 0.1% higher to 18,021.85 and the CAC 40 in Paris was up 4.55 points to 7,962.12. London’s markets were closed for a bank holiday.

The future contracts for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were both 0.1% higher, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

In Asian trading, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed 0.4% higher at 18,548.77, and the Shanghai Composite index surged 1.2% to 3,140.72 as markets in mainland China reopened after a weeklong holiday. A private sector survey Monday showed the country’s services sector grew at a slower pace in April due to rising costs although new orders rose and business sentiment improved.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% to 7,682.40. Taiwan’s Taiex gained 1%.

Markets in Tokyo and South Korea were closed for holidays.

The Japanese yen weakened slightly after its value swung from a low of 160.25 to the U.S. dollar to 151.86 late last week following suspected government intervention. The dollar bought 153.81 yen, up from 152.90 yen.

The euro rose to $1.0772 from $1.0763.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 1.3% to 5,127.79 in its best day since late February. The benchmark index also erased its losses for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2% to 38,675.68. The Nasdaq composite ended 2% higher and closed at 16,156.33, reflecting strong gains by technology sector stocks, which accounted for much of the rally.

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The nation’s employers added 175,000 jobs last month, down sharply from the blockbuster increase of 315,000 in March, according to the Labour Department. The latest hiring tally came in well below the 233,000 gain that economists had predicted.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings, a key driver of inflation, rose less than expected.

The modest increase in hiring last month suggests the Federal Reserve’s aggressive streak of rate hikes may be finally starting to take a bigger toll on the world’s largest economy.

That may help reassure the Fed that inflation will ease further, which could move the central bank closer to lowering interest rates.

Friday’s market rally was widespread, though technology stocks powered much of the gains. Apple jumped 6% after announcing a mammoth $110 billion stock buyback. The tech giant reported late Thursday its steepest quarterly decline in iPhone sales since the outset of the pandemic.

Early Monday, benchmark U.S. crude rose 79 cents to $78.90 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, climbed 69 cents to $83.65 a barrel.


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