Chinese stocks hit highest level in 5 years, rand weakens to R17/$
- Global markets were mixed Friday as investors seek direction with the US markets closed in observance of of the Fourth of July public holiday.
- Chinese stocks hit a five-year high as stronger than expected PMI data out of the world's second biggest economy boosted sentiment.
- The rand was back above R17, after briefly reaching R16.91 on Thursday.
- In Europe, stocks dropped a little, although there was no immediately apparent key driver to the moves.
- Liquidity was thin with few US investors online during the day.
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Global stocks painted a confused picture on Friday as the US holiday for the Fourth of July caused thin liquidity in markets, and upbeat Chinese PMI data pushed Chinese stocks to a five-year high.
US markets are closed on Friday because of the holiday, leaving markets in Europe and other areas of the western world looking somewhat listless.
In Asia, China's Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 (CSI300) closed at its highest level in five years at 4419.60 after stronger than expected data out of the country's service sector.
China's services PMI - a closely watched economic survey - hit a 10-year high on Friday in the latest sign that the country's economic recovery as it comes out of the worst of its coronavirus crisis is accelerating.
China's Caixin Services Purchasing Managers Index hit 58.4 for in June. The previous reading for May was 55.
The JSE's all share index was flat, while Sasol rose by more than 2% to R135.56. The rand weakened to R17.04/$, after reaching R16.91 on Thursday.
In Europe, the EuroStoxx 600 Index pared earlier gains as France's prime minister resigned.
Here's the market roundup as of early afternoon on Friday.
- Asian indexes were up with China's Shanghai Composite up 2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 1%, and Japan's Nikkei up 0.7%.
- European equities were down, with Germany's DAX down 0.3%, Britain's FTSE 100 down 1%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 down 0.5%.
- US futures are mixed. Futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.2% the S&P 500 is down 0.2% and the Nasdaq is flat. US real-time markets will not open until Monday.
- Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude are both down 1.3%.
- The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell to 0.67%.
- Gold rose 0.1% to $1,788 per ounce.
Markets were also confused whether to focus on upbeat Non-Farm Payrolls data that came out on Thursday, or rising coronavirus infections worldwide, and particularly in the US.
That exceeded the 3 million new jobs expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg and represents the second straight month of job additions during the coronavirus induced recession.
Ahead of the May jobs report, economists were predicting job losses of 7.5 million instead of an addition of 2.5 million new jobs that emerged in that month's job report.
Continued optimism on a vaccination was also in part driving markets for another session.
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia-Pacific, at OANDA, said: "Pleasingly, some real progress appears to be being made on the Covid-19 vaccine front. By my count this week alone, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, along with their partners, are all on the verge of commencing phase III mass trials."
"My anti-black swan for 2020 has been, that a vaccine appears in Q4 2020 with immediate deployment thereafter."
Pfizer said patients created between 1.8 and 2.8 times the antibodies seen in those who have recovered from COVID-19.
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