Global stock markets were subdued as investors weighed the strength of US economic jobs data from last week against longer-term concerns about the coronavirus’ impact on world growth.
The momentum continued in some markets from a rally on Friday, when the US Government said employers added 2.5 million workers to their payrolls in May, when economists were expecting them instead to slash another 8 million jobs. That raised hopes that the worst of the recession may have already passed. But economists cautioned that many risks still loom on the long road to a full recovery. “One should be cautioned against reading too much into any single month-on-month change, particularly during such times of uncertainty,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.
After broad gains in Asia, European stock markets were less buoyant, with Germany’s DAX edging up 0.1% to 12,866 as the Govt reported that industrial production plunged by nearly 18% in April. That compared a nearly 9% drop in March at the height of Europe’s coronavirus lockdowns.
The CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.1% to 5,193, while Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.1% at 6,493.
US futures were higher, auguring more gains on Wall Street when it opens, with the contracts for the S&P 500 up 0.6% and those for the Dow industrials up 0.8%. Crude oil prices were steady after major oil producing nations agreed over the weekend to extend a production cut of nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day through the end of July to counter the blow to demand from the coronavirus pandemic. The price of oil had risen last week on expectations of that move, and lost some of its gains on Monday after OPEC officials did not commit to extending the cuts past July or establishing a way to enforce the production limits. And amid reports that output in the U.S., which is not part of the cartel, was rising again, OPEC said the outlook remained uncertain.