03.11 - Focus on NFP, Apple hits an all-time high
It’s a busy Friday for traders and investors. At 12:30 GMT, the U.S. NFP jobs report will be published, the forecast shows that 310k new jobs were created in October. Elsewhere, trump is travelling to Asia for a series of geopolitical and economic talks. In stocks, Apple reached an all-time high after the company posted better than expected earnings. These are the big things to know for today’s trading.
Markets will focus their attention Friday on the October nonfarm payrolls report (NFP) to be released at 12:30 GMT.
The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 310,000, bouncing back from a hurricane-related decline of 33,000 in September, while the unemployment rate is forecast to hold steady at 4.2%.
The strength in the labor market has supported the view that the Federal Reserve will move ahead with a rate hike at its next meeting in December. Most of the focus will likely be on average hourly earnings figures, which are expected to rise 0.2% after gaining 0.5% a month earlier.
With U.S. President Donald Trump having revealed a day earlier his choice of Jerome Powell to replace current Fed chair Janet Yellen and Republicans having launched their proposal for massive tax cuts, the U.S. chief will be heading to Asia on Friday for a series of geopolitical and economic talks with the likes of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
China may well be the markets major focus as Trump is expected to discuss trade with the President Xi Jinping as well as critique Chinese support for North Korea.
On the economic front stateside, and apart from the U.S. employment report, market players will keep track of September factory orders and the October ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), both due out at 14:00 GMT.
Shares in Apple were up more than 3% in pre-market trade Friday, hitting an all-time high, after reporting earnings after the prior market close that beat consensus and offering a fiscal first-quarter forecast that topped estimates.
Further supporting shares on Friday, reports of the iPhone X launch in Asia showed strong demand, with long lines forming throughout the region.
U.S. futures pointed to a higher open on Friday with the Dow poised to mark a fresh record high as a jump in Apple shares increased buying sentiment on the blue-chip index.
Meanwhile, European equities showed mixed trade on Friday as investors weighed earnings reports and French bank Societe Generale dampened sentiment in bank stocks.
Earlier, Asian shares closed with mixed readings as market participants digested the Republican plans for U.S. tax cuts, took in the widely expected appointment of Fed governor Jerome Powell to the head of the U.S. central bank and tech suppliers to Apple celebrated the iPhone manufacturer’s results. The Japanese stock exchange remained closed for a holiday.
Elsewhere, Oil extended its rally on Friday, on track for weekly gains of around 1.6%, after West Texas Intermediate hit its highest closing price a day earlier since July 2015.
Hopes that major oil producers will agree to extend their production cut agreement at their November 30 meeting in Vienna have supported prices as investors look for the global market to rebalance.
- by Roger Gain