Monday May 2nd


Markets gear up for nonfarm payrolls week

U.S. stock index futures were showing a broadly higher open Monday amid subdued trading in Asia and Europe and ahead of the key nonfarm payrolls data at the end of the week. Early Monday morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was expected to open some 20 points higher while the broader S&P 500 was called some 2 points higher. Several companies are scheduled to report quarterly results Monday, including AIG. Markets in Europe opened lower amid subdued trading as some exchanges in Asia and Europe were closed for public holidays. Exchanges in London, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, Singapore and Russia were all closed. In those markets trading in Asia, exchanges ended Monday slightly lower with the Nikkei 225 off some 3.1 percent, the Kospi down 0.8 percent and in Australia broadly flat. In the run-up to the nonfarm payrolls figure Friday, investors can digest Manufacturing PMIs at 9:45 a.m. New York time on Monday and ISM spending figures in manufacturing and construction at 10 a.m. Later on, San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams will talk at the Milken Institute. Oil prices retreated from 2016 highs on Monday as rising production in the Middle East outweighed a decline in U.S. output and a sliding dollar. Crude production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rose in April to 32.64 million barrels per day (bpd), close to the highest level in recent history. Russia, the biggest exporter outside OPEC, also increased monthly crude for seaborne exports by more than 7 percent to 3.117 million bpd in April. Brent was trading at $47.03 per barrel at 8:43 a.m. ET (1243 GMT), down 34 cents from its last settlement. U.S. crude was down 14 cents at $45.78 a barrel. Liquidity was low due to May Day holiday in many countries. Gold rose to a fresh 15-month high on Monday, breaching the $1,300 resistance level as fresh weakness in the dollar lent support, but moves were muted in holiday-thinned trade. Many Asian markets and London were closed on Monday for national holidays, dampening momentum in the precious metal, which posted its biggest weekly rally since early February last week, up more than 5 percent. That was chiefly driven by weakness in the dollar, which posted its worst week since 2008 versus the Japanese yen after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly opted against further monetary easing. The U.S. unit stayed on the back foot on Monday. Spot gold was up 0.44 percent at $1,299.06 an ounce, after breaking above $1,300, its highest since January last year.