Friday October 2nd


Wall Street awaits job numbers

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Friday, with Wall Street awaiting the release of September's employment report, the last jobs number the Fed will see before it meets on October 28. Friday will see nonfarm payrolls, the unemployment rate and average hourly wages released at 8:30 a.m. ET, with factory orders at 10:00 a.m. Economists expect a steady pace of job growth of about 203,000 in September, according to economists surveyed by Reuters, but if there's a miss that would spark market fears that the economy is slowing down and the Fed was right to hold off on a September rate hike. The September forecast is up from the 173,000 jobs created in the previous month. The unemployment rate in September is expected to remain unchanged at 5.1 percent. The Fed has said it will base its decision on economic data, though it did caution that it held off in September because of international developments, meaning a slowing China and its possible impact on the economy. "It's payroll Friday again, and although the employment report is of course crucial to second guessing the Fed, it does seem that there are even bigger global issues at the moment that will exert a stronger short-term influence on the Fed," Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid said in a morning note on Friday. "Nevertheless it's always important, and given the growth fears at the moment, a stronger report would probably be better received this month than in the recent past where strong data would have raised concerns about tighter policy," Reid added. "For now, the market will likely be relieved to see some strength." In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up around 1.7 percent on Friday morning, with investors across the globe also keenly awaiting the release of nonfarm payrolls for September. Asian stocks were mixed on a subdued Friday, losing steam after two straight days of stellar gains, as investors awaited the crucial U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for September due later in the day. Nikkei flat. Japan's Nikkei 225 pared losses to finish flat on the final trading day of the week. Oil rose on Friday, pushed higher by fears about escalating violence in Syria and on expectations that data would show economic strength in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer. Global benchmark Brent gained 6 cents to $47.75 a barrel by 7:08 a.m. EDT (1108 GMT). The contract had closed the previous session down 68 cents. U.S. crude added 36 cents at $45.10 a barrel, after settling 35 cents lower in the previous session. Gold fell to two-week lows on Friday, heading for its biggest weekly loss since early March ahead of U.S. payrolls data which will be closely watched for clues on the timing of an expected interest rate rise. The Federal Reserve has tied the prospect of a rate hike to the strength of U.S. data. An increase would tend to weigh on gold, which benefits from ultra-low rates that cut the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Spot gold was down 0.57 percent at $1,106.80 an ounce at, off an earlier low of $1,106.45, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $7.60 an ounce at $1,106.10. Gold is down 3.4 percent this week, its biggest weekly decline in seven months.