Markets Live: ASX to tick higher

Markets climbed in the US and Europe overnight, the last day of August, with all eyes on today’s US jobs numbers.

TD Securities on the pending US jobs report: “We expect August nonfarm payrolls to moderate to a 175k pace after registering a robust 209k gain in July, which left the six-month average little changed at 179,000. 

“Overall, the combination of solid job growth and a pickup in wage gains argues for a hawkish report, though the market response will be tempered by concerns over low inflation and near-term political risks,” the analysts said.

The S&P 500 Index erased a monthly loss with its fifth straight advance. The S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to 2471.41 at 4pm in New York. Its five-day winning streak is the longest since May.

“There’s no doubt that the market is still in an uptrend,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee. “We’ve been throwing all sorts of bricks into the wall of worry and it’s still reaching for the sky.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent to cap a fifth straight monthly advance. The Nasdaq 100 Index ended the month at an all-time high.

European shares rose for a second day on Thursday, with the pan-European STOXX 600 up 0.8 per cent, ​but posted a third straight month of decline. A profit warning from Carrefour sank the retail sector.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.4 per cent, to 27,970.30, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.7 per cent, to 11,295.44 points.

Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to two-week highs, after bright US economic data pushed up the greenback against the yen, which in turn lifted cyclical stocks such as auto makers and financial companies.

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