Markets are awaiting one of the most highly anticipated NFP announcements of the year today at 1230GMT. The US economy is expected to have added 180k jobs last month, down from the 255k gain recorded in July but close to the 190k average cited last week by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The unemployment rate is expected to drop down to 4.8%. The August NFP data will be a key number considered by the US Fed whether to increase interest rates during their forthcoming September policy meeting.
Currencies: The USD was relatively stable as investors await today’s NFP. USD/JPY traded at 103.355 after coming down from a one-month high of 104.00 overnight. EUR/USD traded at 1.1198 after moving 0.3% on Thursday.
Stocks: Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 77.08 points (-0.42%) to 18,324.21. S&P 500 was down 10.05 points (-0.46%) to 2,161.00. FTSE 100 was down 35.54 points (-0.52%) to 6,745.97. DAX was down 58.38 points (-0.55%) to 10,534.31.
Oil and Gold: Crude oil prices sank after Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said there is no need for an output cap at current levels. The remarks are a reversal for Novak, who said last month that his country would be open to talks about a joint output freeze with OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Gold prices moved higher after a worse than expected ISM Manufacturing survey weighed against Fed rate hike bets, moving the US Dollar lower. The data showed factory-sector activity surprisingly contracted in August for the first time in seven months.
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