Saturday, 2 June 2018

Markets rise on “goldilocks jobs report”, end of Italian political deadlock

Markets were mostly higher on Friday.

The S&P 500 jumped 1.1 percent while the STOXX Europe 600 rose 1.0 percent. Asian markets were mixed.

US stocks were boosted by a strong employment report. A report on Friday showed that the US economy added 223,000 new jobs in May and the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

Lisa Erickson, head of traditional investments for US Bank Wealth Management, called the report a “goldilocks jobs report” while Wouter Sturkenboom, senior investment strategist at Russell Investments, said the jobs data “reaffirm the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates twice more this year — one in June and one in September, with a 50/50 chance of third hike in December”.

In Europe, politics were again in focus.

Late on Thursday, populist parties the 5 Star Movement and the League agreed to form a coalition government led by Giuseppe Conte, a lawyer and academic, as prime minister, and the latter was sworn in on Friday, ending the political deadlock.

Meanwhile, Spanish lawmakers ousted Mariano Rajoy as prime minister in a vote of no confidence after corruption convictions for senior members of the latter’s party. Pedro Sánchez, leader of the Socialist Party, will replace Rajoy.

In Asia, MSCI's addition of 230 Chinese stocks to some of its global benchmark indices on Friday met with a muted reaction, with the Shanghai Composite Index falling 0.7 percent.

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