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Global Market Report - 06 June

Lewis Jackson  |  06 Jun 2022Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Australia

Australian shares are set to open lower after Wall Street sank on Friday as a stronger-than-expected jobs report stoked fears meatier interest rate hikes will be required to cool the US economy.

The Reserve Bank is expected to raise rates again when it meets on Tuesday afternoon.

ASX futures were down 32 points or 0.4% at 7210 as of last trade on Saturday, pointing to a dip at the open.

The S&P 500 lost 1.6%, handing back almost all its gains from the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 2.5%. All three indexes declined more than 0.9% for the week.

US employers added 390,000 jobs in May, the slowest pace of growth since April of last year, but still ahead of economist expectations. Federal Reserve officials are closely monitoring the state of the labour market as they decide how much and how quickly to raise interest rates in the coming months.

Locally, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.9% higher at 7238.8, rounding out a volatile week with gains in commodity and tech stocks.

The ASX 200 gained 0.8% across the week after alternating between daily wins and losses. It has nonetheless rebounded from four weekly losses with three consecutive weekly gains.

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Iron ore, gold and lithium miners all rose on Friday, with BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue putting on between 2.5% and 4.1%.

The energy sector also added 1.0% amid higher oil prices.

Appen, Altium, Block and WiseTech added between 3.2% and 5.1% as tech stocks built on momentum from their US counterparts.

The financial, telecommunications and consumer discretionary sectors all closed flat.

In commodity markets, Brent crude oil rose 1.5% to US$121.49 a barrel, regaining upwards momentum after dipping briefly following OPEC+ announcing increased production quotas late last week. Iron ore leapt 5.2% to US$143.65. Gold advanced 0.2% at US$1853.50.

Local bond markets rose slightly on Friday and the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds edged down to 2.57% while the 10 Year slipped to 3.48%. Overseas, the yield on 2 year US Treasury notes rose to 2.65% and the yield on the 10 year US Treasury notes advanced to 2.93%.

The Australian dollar traded at 72.05 US cents as of last trade on Saturday, down from the previous close of 72.62 US cents. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against 16 other currencies increased to 94.92.

Asia

Share markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for a public holiday on Friday.

Japanese stocks ended higher, led by gains in retail and tech stocks, as hopes grew for a recovery in retailers' earnings and concerns eased about borrowing costs. Fast Retailing gained 5.9% after Uniqlo sales in Japan increased 17.5% on year in May. Ryohin Keikaku climbed 3.9% after MUJI's sales in Japan rose 12% on year in May. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.3% to 27761.57.

Europe

European stocks closed lower, with the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index ending down 0.3% after data showed the US added more jobs in May than expected, suggesting hefty US interest-rate rises will continue.

US employers added 390,000 jobs last month, more than the 328,000 expected according to a Wall Street Journal survey.

"There is nothing in this report to deter the Federal Reserve from their roadmap of 50-basis-point hikes at the June and July FOMC meetings," ING economists say in a research note.

Rheinmetall is the top riser, up 5.3%, with Warburg analysts saying in a note that the German army revamp should boost the company's revenues. Germany's DAX index and France's CAC 40 both fell by 0.2%.

North America

US stocks dropped Friday and suffered losses for the week after the latest employment report showed the US labour market added jobs at a strong but slower clip in May.

The S&P 500 lost 1.6%, handing back almost all its gains from the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 2.5%. All three indexes declined more than 0.9% for the week.

Federal Reserve officials are closely monitoring the state of the labour market as they decide how much and how quickly to raise interest rates in the coming months.

One point of concern for officials is that a strong labour market will add to elevated inflation as competition for workers boosts wage-bargaining power. Fed Vice Chairwoman Lael Brainard said Thursday that she supported plans to raise interest rates by a half-percentage point at a meeting later this month and again in July.

US employers added 390,000 jobs last month, the slowest pace of growth since April of last year, while the unemployment rate remained 3.6%. Wages grew 5.2% on the year, down from 5.5% in April.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected employers added 328,000 jobs last month. And they saw the unemployment rate falling slightly to 3.5%, which would have matched a 53-year low and its level in February 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic became widespread in the US

The monthly jobs report used to be the biggest factor for Fed rate-changing decisions, but months of strong employment gains has lessened its importance. Now all eyes are on inflation data, traders and fund managers say. Next Friday, the Labor Department will report data on US inflation in May.

For now, stocks appear to be in a bit of a holding pattern. After eight weeks of declines, the Dow industrials gained 6.2% in the week ended May 27. This week, the blue-chip index bounced around and ended the week down 0.9%, its smallest weekly move in either direction in roughly a month. The index is down 9.5% this year.

Michael Antonelli, managing director and market strategist at Baird, said he saw one bright spot this week for stocks. After Microsoft cut its sales and revenue guidance on Thursday, the company's shares still closed the day higher.

"That was telling," said Mr. Antonelli. "It meant maybe the most dire predictions have been priced in."

"This summer could just be a grind," he said.

Markets have experienced heightened volatility in recent months as investors have tried to assess a mix of variables that has clouded their outlook and added to fears of a recession.

In the past two weeks, though, some of the choppiness has eased.

Justin Wiggs, managing director in equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus, said he has seen the number of buy orders among his clients ticking up in the past week or so, something he believes directly correlates with fewer big stock-market swings.

Wall Street's fear gauge, the Cboe Volatility Index, is trading in the mid-20s again, and the VVIX, a measure of how volatile the VIX itself is, is trading around its lowest level in two years. The VVIX is based on options prices on the volatility index.

"That the swings are getting less bad has given some people solace in the idea that maybe they can put money back to work," said Mr. Wiggs.

Even with the recent stock-market swoon, some investors say shares look overvalued on a historical basis.

The S&P 500 index recently traded at 20 times its earnings over the past 12 months, according to FactSet, down from the 23.5 multiple at which it ended last year and above the 10-year average of 18.7.

A tightening of financial conditions by the Fed might damp inflation but also risks weighing on growth and the housing market. Russia's war against Ukraine and China's zero-Covid policy have added to supply-chain disruptions, further stoking inflation.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said in a memo Friday that the electric-vehicle maker plans to cut 10% of its salaried workforce amid concerns about the global economy. Tesla shares fell $71.45, or 9.2%, to $703.55.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note ticked up to 2.955% from 2.914% Thursday. Yields and prices move inversely.

Oil prices also remain above $100 a barrel, adding to the cost of energy and fuel. Futures for Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, edged up 1.8% to $119.72 a barrel. Oil-and-gas companies were a rare bright spot on Friday, with energy companies in the S&P 500 up 1.4%, the only sector posting gains.

"You have a really strong US economy now but we have this really high inflation not coming down," said Frank Øland, global chief strategist at Danske Bank. "Eventually that will bring consumers to a point where they might say let's look at our budget and maybe tighten a bit here and there. If everyone holds back a bit, you're moving toward recession.”

is a reporter and data journalist with Morningstar. Tweet him @lewjackk or get in touch via email

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