World stock markets rise ahead of US jobs data

Washington: Global markets rose Friday and Wall Street futures as investors awaited the US jobs report for May, which is expected to show another surge in unemployment in the world’s largest economy.
Germany’s DAX gained 1.7 per cent to 12,643 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 1.9 per cent to 5,108. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.3 per cent to 6,421. Futures for the Dow were up 1.3 per cent while those for the S&P 500 were 0.8 per cent higher.
Economists expect the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report for May to show employers slashed 8.5 million jobs last month, down from 20.5 million in April. That would push the unemployment rate to nearly 20 per cent from about 15 per cent.
That would raise the total losses since the coronavirus intensified nearly three months ago to almost 30 million more than triple the number of jobs lost during the 2008-2009 Great Recession.
As economies around the world sag under the pressure of the lockdowns they have had to enforce for weeks and are only just easing, more countries are offering fiscal and monetary stimulus.
A near doubling in the European Central Bank’s pandemic relief efforts on Thursday helped soothe the sting from news that Germany’s economy is forecast to contract more than 7 per cent this year and take two years to fully recover from the downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, in Asia, hopes for recovery helped spur strong gains this week. The Nikkei 225 index in Japan gained 0.7 per cent to 22,863.73, its highest level close since late February.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong surged 1.7 per cent to 24,770.41 after authorities showed restraint as thousands of people defied a police ban to join a candlelight vigil Thursday marking the 31st anniversary of China’s crushing of a democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
That appeared to have eased, at least temporarily, worries over recent efforts by Chinese leaders to exert more control over the former British colony.
India’s Sensex rose 1.1 per cent to 34,372.29 and the Kospi in South Korea jumped 1.4 per cent to 2,181.87. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 picked up 0.1 per cent to 5,998.70.
Regional airlines were strong gainers after American Airlines surged 41 per cent Thursday, the biggest gain in the S&P 500. It announced it plans to fly 55 per cent of its normal US schedule next month, up from only 20 per cent in April.
Many professional investors contend the recent rally, a nearly 40 per cent climb for the S&P 500 since late March, is overdone and say a pullback is likely.

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