Friday April 7th


US stock futures slide after weaker-than-expected jobs report

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday after President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield, while investors digested soft employment data. The U.S. economy added 98,000 jobs last month, well below the expected gain of 180,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent. Dow futures traded about 60 points lower after holding around flat prior to the release. Futures had fallen sharply overnight after the U.S. attack in Syria. Two U.S. destroyers based in the Eastern Mediterranean fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, which the U.S. said was in retaliation to Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons against his own people, a charge denied by authorities in Damascus. The Syrian army said the attack killed six people and caused extensive damage, while Moscow called the strike "thoughtless" and requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. Markets will also be keeping a keen eye on any developments coming out of Mar-a-Lago, Florida, where President Trump will continue talks with President Xi Jinping of China. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was around 0.23 percent lower on Friday morning. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.18 percent at the close, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.36 percent in Japan. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $55.25 a barrel on Friday, up 0.66 percent, while U.S. crude was around $52.17 a barrel, up 0.91 percent. Gold rose Friday as a worse-than-expected jobs report moved the dollar down, adding to the momentum of the metal that hit a 5-month high overnight following a U.S. strike on a Syrian airbase. The news hurt the dollar, which makes dollar-denominated gold cheaper for foreign investors and raises prices. Spot gold was up 1.38 percent at $1,268.51 per ounce, after earlier climbing to its highest since Nov. 10 at $1,269.28 and on track for a fourth straight week of gains. U.S. gold futures climbed 1.41 percent to $1,271 an ounce.