Stock markets in Europe opened positively on Friday after what has been an otherwise rotten week, while Asia was fairly mixed ahead of the US jobs report.
It will be interesting to see whether Europe can maintain the rebound today considering we’re heading into the weekend not certain that gas will start flowing through Nord Stream 1 again tomorrow. Grid data suggests it will but until the gas starts actually flowing, it remains a risk. That weekend risk may make investors a little nervous as we progress through the session and could lead to more caution as we approach the close.
The US jobs report could also be a negative catalyst later in the session if it’s deemed strong enough to warrant more aggressive tightening from the Fed. We’ve seen a lot more risk aversion in the markets recently as Fed commentary has finally gotten through to investors.
We’re still seeing remarkable resilience in the US data, particularly the labour market, even if some cracks are appearing elsewhere. While the NFP and unemployment will naturally attract the most attention initially, it’s the wages that could tip the balance at the central bank, with policymakers concerned about inflation becoming entrenched.
Will Japan intervene as the yen hits a 24-year low?
The yen has been back in focus in recent days, having fallen to a 24-year low against the dollar on Thursday, breaking above 140 in the process. This level has been speculated a lot about in recent months as being the point at which Japanese officials may be tempted to intervene in the markets and comments overnight could further fuel that, with one spokesperson warning moves are being watched with a high sense of urgency.
That doesn’t appear to have happened yet and we’re not likely to see any shift from the Bank of Japan either if recent commentary is anything to go by. While inflation is currently above its target, that’s not expected to last and there’s seemingly little appetite to change course. That could mean further declines in the yen until intervention is deemed necessary, although the threat of such action could slow the decline as we’ve already seen.
Treading water ahead of the jobs report
Bitcoin has been treading water around $20,000 over the past week, perhaps with one eye on today’s jobs report. This is clearly a major level of support and a significant break of it could see further losses, with $17,500 the next major test being the level it bottomed at in June. Risk appetite in the markets has not been positive recently which has weighed heavily on bitcoin and other risk assets. The jobs report today could compound that if it feeds inflation fears and raises the odds of another 75 basis point Fed hike this month.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar: www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/
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