Global stocks edge up after jobs data soothes concerns over the US economy; oil slips as Ukraine-related gains fade

  • Global stocks and US futures rose Monday after Friday’s jobs report eased recession fears.
  • Investors will focus on the inflation report Wednesday for clues to Federal Reserve rate hikes.
  • Oil prices slipped but still traded just above the six-month lows hit Friday.

Stocks inched up Monday in a tentative start to the week, as investors continued to digest the July US jobs report and assess what it means for Federal Reserve policy and markets.

US stocks edged cautiously up in European trading hours. S&P 500 futures were 0.20% higher, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.16%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.33%. 

The surprisingly strong report on Friday showed the US added 528,000 jobs last month, a sign the labor market is faring well despite fears of an economic slowdown.

“The US economy simply cannot be deemed to be in a recession in a month when over 528,000 jobs have just been added as payrolls,” Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid said.

But with a tight labor market in place, wages are expected to keep rising quickly, which may well convince the now data-dependent Fed to keep up its aggressive interest-rate hikes.

For more clues to policy, investors will closely watch out for inflation data reports due later this week, with July’s Consumer Price Index figure set for release Wednesday.

“With another 75 basis point rate hike next month now the favoured outcome, although a lot can change in that time, it could be a nervy couple of days for investors ahead of Wednesday’s inflation report,” Oanda’s senior market analyst Craig Erlam said.

Global stocks were also buoyed by Friday’s jobs data, with the MSCI World Index up 0.16%.

Europe drove much of the rally, with the continent’s flagship Stoxx 600 index up 0.45%. Paris’s CAC40 added 0.51%, Frankfurt’s DAX40 put on 0.30% and London’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.30%.

Asian equities had a more mixed session. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.31%, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.77% despite the territory’s move to cut mandatory hotel quarantine from a week to just three days. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.26%.

The key oil benchmarks slipped Monday but were still trading above the six-month lows they hit Friday, as commodities investors fretted about recession. Brent crude fell 0.61% to $94.34 a barrel, while WTI crude slid 0.63% to $88.45 a barrel.

“The downward pressure on the oil price is coming solely from a weakening of demand expectations, as markets brace for a potentially sharp economic contraction,” Hargreaves Lansdown’s lead equity analyst Sophie Lund-Yates said. “Gains triggered by the invasion of Ukraine have now been canceled out.”

Here’s what else in happening in markets Monday:

  • SoftBank’s US-listed shares dropped 1.45% in premarket trading after the Japanese tech investor reported a record quarterly loss of more than $23 billion. Palantir and News Corp. are on the earnings docket Monday.
  • Bond yields fell. Inflation-sensitive US 2-year yields dropped 1.2 basis points to 3.206%, and US 10-year yields slipped 42.9 basis points to 2.806%.
  • The US dollar index gave up some of its recent gains, down 0.08% to 106.54.
  • The crypto rebound continued, as bitcoin rallied by 3.7% to just above $24,100, and ethereum climbed 2.9% to around $1,770.

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