U.S. shares gained Friday despite a government report that American employers cut a record-setting 20.5 million jobs in April. Investor optimism is gaining as China and some other countries begin to revive their economies. But with infection numbers still rising in the United States, Brazil and some other countries, analysts warn a global recovery might be some way off.
“While the argument that forward-looking market hopes of recovery should override backward looking economic gloom may not be groundless, it inevitably understates inherent fragilities and risks,” said Riki Ogawa of Mizuho Bank in a report.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 1% to 20,390.66 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1.4% to 24,571.74. The Shanghai Composite Index declined to 2,891.06. The Kospi in Seoul was off 0.4% at 1,938.38 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 1.4% to 5,468.80. India's Sensex opened up 0.7% at 31,852.00 and New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta also advanced.
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.2%. On Friday, the S&P 500 Index rose 1.7% to 2,929.80 for its fourth gain in five days. The Dow added 1.9% to 24,331.32. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.6% to 9,121.32.
Investors looked ahead to a week filled with data announcements including European factory output and trade, U.S. unemployment claims and retail sales and Australian jobs. Markets got a jolt Sunday when one of Latin America’s largest airlines, Chile’s Avianca, asked a New York City bankruptcy court for protection from creditors while the carrier reorganizes amid a travel slump it said has cut revenue 80%.
Also Sunday, China’s central bank promised to use “more powerful” policies to support economic recovery and job creation. Investors hoping for reassurance were looking ahead to an appearance by U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday.
“He is certainly not going to walk back any of the Fed extraordinary stimulus measures,” said Stephen Inness of AxiTrader in a report. “If anything, he could lay it down even thicker.” In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 50 cents to $24.24 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.19 on Friday to $24.74. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 53 cents to $30.43 per barrel in London. It rose $1.51 the previous session to $30.97.
The dollar gained to 106.97 from Friday’s 106.61. The euro declined to $1.0844 from $1.0847.