Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Want to receive this post in your inbox every morning? Sign up here.
Markets wobble after U.S. missiles strike Syria, Trump meets Xi, and it's jobs day. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
The U.S. launched dozens of missiles at military targets in Syria overnight, a move condemned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who supports the regime of Bashar al-Assad, as an “act of aggression against a sovereign state.” The attack, which came in response to a poison gas attack which killed scores of Syrian civilians, saw a risk-off move in markets with Treasury yields falling, gold and oil spiking higher, and equities selling off. While much of the initial reaction had reversed by 5:10 a.m. Eastern Time, West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at $52.40 a barrel, close to the highest level in a month.
Trump meets Xi
President Donald Trump struck a positive tone in the early hours of his first meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping saying "we have developed a friendship. I can see that.” The meeting is seen as a crucial test of whether the leaders of the world's two largest economies can work together. The performance of emerging-market assets -- after being thumped in the aftermath of Trump's victory -- will prove a bellwether of investor sentiment on China-U.S. relations.
U.S. payrolls data for March is due at 8:30 a.m. Economists are forecasting an 180,000 increase in positions and average hourly earnings to have grown 2.7 percent. For many Americans, the problem is no longer job opportunity, but rather being able to get the right job for their skill-set, with data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showing that 44 percent of recent college graduates were employed in positions that did not require a degree.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific index gained 0.2 percent, while Japan's Topix index closed 0.7 percent higher after dropping into negative territory in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. missile strike. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.4 percent lower at 5:47 a.m., with all industry groups except energy producers falling. S&P 500 futures were down 0.2 percent, having recovered much of the earlier losses.
While U.S. jobs is the big number today, there were some notable European data out this morning. Industrial production in Germany unexpectedly rose, while manufacturing and construction unexpectedly shrank in the U.K., which saw pressure on the pound resume. Canada is also releasing jobs data at 8:30 a.m. with expectations for an increase of 5,700 positions.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Two of Wall Street's biggest names are sounding the alarm on the U.S. economy.
- Traders are worried about China local government debt again.
- U.K. regulators resume probe at HBOS Plc after criminal case puts six in prison.
- EM ETFs laugh in the face of Fed balance sheet normalization.
- Japan's households are most upbeat since 1998.
- A world apart: The two Koreas and six decades of separation.
- Neel Kashkari does not agree with Jamie Dimon.