UNITED KINGDOM – The European stock market opened higher on Friday as US jobs data appear to be positive. Global shares are also rallying as investors take advantage of the lessening tensions in the Middle East.
The US Labor Department is scheduled to release its monthly jobs report today, the first Friday of the month. The country’s job data will likely be the focus of investors today as they try to gauge the health of the US economy and its prospective interest rates.
Analysts are anticipating a rise in employment numbers and say the number of jobs created in December were likely to go up by 164,000. The jobless rate is believed to remain at 3.5% as few Americans reportedly filed for unemployment insurance at the start of January.
Investors are hopeful today’s US job data will reinforce Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida’s claims on Thursday about the American economy being in a good place. He also told the Council on Foreign Relations that the central bank remains steady.
Traders are also waiting for the results of the business confidence and industrial production survey from France today.
The Pan-European Stoxx 600 went up 0.1% in early trading, with stocks in the leisure and travel sector climbing 1.7% while shares in the banking sector declined by 0.4%. The DAX also went up by 0.26% while FTSE futures gained 0.42%.
EasyJet stocks rose by 5.6% while rival Ryanair shot up by more than 11%, bolstered by strong holiday numbers and an auspicious trading update. Evolution Gaming advanced by 4.6% after its products were selected by Parx Casino to headline its prospective online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The dwindling tension in the Middle East and the imminent signing of the US-China trade deal is also encouraging relieved investors to turn their eyes again on growing the stock market.
Masanari Takada, a strategist at Nomura Securities, said that “euphoria” is returning to the markets now that Iran and the US have both backed down from further conflicts. The positive sentiment is also fueled by increasing confidence on US corporate earnings.
US stocks are quickly regaining what they lost last week. The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 both rose by about 0.7% while the Nasdaq gained 0.8%.
Asian markets were also trading higher on Friday. The Nikkei 225 went up 0.44% while Chinese stocks inched a little lower.
Norihiro Fujito, the Chief Investment Strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, sounded confident that the ongoing rally will continue based on the current market strength. He also welcomed the upcoming visit of China Vice Premier Liu He to Washington and said it was a symbolic event.