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Stocks gain, US debt under pressure after exceptional jobs data

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Global stock prices hit a 1.5-month high on Monday after data showed an increase in US employment, while US bonds were under pressure amid fears that the Federal Reserve can raise interest rates sooner than it has indicated.

FILE PHOTO: A “Now Hiring” sign advertising jobs at a hand-held car wash is seen along a street as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Miami, Florida, USA, May 8, 2020. REUTERS / Marco Bello

US S & P500 futures traded 0.5% higher, maintaining their gains made in a truncated Friday session, although high-tech Nasdaq futures lagged behind, almost trading flat.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei rose 0.8% while the largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan was nearly flat, with China closed for Grave Sweeping Day and Australia Easter Monday.

The MSCI World Index for all countries was almost stable, but was near its highest level since late February and in preparation for a record that month.

The US Department of Labor said Friday that non-farm payrolls jumped 916,000 jobs last month, the biggest gain since last August.

This was well above the median economists’ forecast of 647,000 and was closer to whispering markets of a million figure. Data for February has also been revised upwards to show 468,000 jobs created instead of the 379,000 previously reported.

There will be further improvements in April as restaurants have started to reopen. People expected economic normalization to happen sooner or later, but its pace seems to be picking up, said Koichi Fujishiro, senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research.

As employment remains 8.4 million jobs below its February 2020 peak, a accelerated recovery has raised hopes that all jobs lost during the pandemic could be recovered by the end of the year. next year.

The prospect of a return to full employment in turn raises the question of whether the Fed can keep its promise to hold interest rates until 2023.

Markets have strong doubts, with federal funds futures fully valued in a single rate hike by the end of next year.

Many market participants also expect the Fed to consider reducing its bond purchases this year, although Fed officials have said it has yet to discuss the matter.

It will become impossible for the Fed to avoid discussing the cut by the fall, said Kozo Koide, chief economist at Asset Management One, noting that US President Joe Bidens’ infrastructure spending plan is expected to be adopted by then.

The two-year US Treasury yield fell to 0.186%, near its eight-month high of 0.194% hit in late February.

Longer-term bond yields also rose, with 10-year notes at 1.725% in Asia on Monday, extending its rise which began after the jobs report on Friday.

Strong jobs data helped support the dollar.

The greenback was trading at 110.57 yen, not far from Wednesday’s peak of 110.97. The euro stood at $ 1.1767.

Gold slipped 0.4% to $ 1,724.70.

In crypto assets, ether slipped 1.7% to $ 2,040.21 from Friday’s record high of $ 2,144.99. Bitcoin fell 0.9% to $ 57,704.

Oil prices fell after OPEC + agreed last week to gradually ease some of its production cuts between May and July.

US crude futures fell 0.6% to $ 61.09 per barrel.

Reporting by Hideyuki Sano, editing by Gerry Doyle

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