Wall St set to open higher on surprise drop in unemployment rate

Wall St set to open higher on surprise drop in unemployment rate

But of course, this was not the case, and May's numbers demonstrated that the US may already be headed for recovery after its swiftest decline in history.

The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) also fell 0.33 per cent. South Korea's Kospi surged 2.7% to 2,143.45.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.85 per cent higher at 5,992.

Shares rose in Bangkok, Taiwan and Singapore but fell back in Jakarta.

Teleconferencing firm Zoom Communications Inc almost doubled its annual sales expectations, but also reported a sharp rise in costs.

But the European Central Bank also warned it expects the region's economy to shrink 8.7% this year due to the pandemic.

EUR/USD jumped 1.0% to 1.1343, rising for an eighth straight session. -Chinese tension over trade and efforts by Beijing to tighten control over Hong Kong.

Coronavirus precautions were cited as the reason for withholding permission for the annual vigil, but participants saw that as a convenient excuse for police wary after months of sometime violent anti-government protests. Year-over-year declines have moderated to 85% from 96% in mid-April.

Most attention is focused on US unemployment data coming later Friday, analysts said.

"The theme of reopening optimism has its stronghold on markets going into the midweek, one to likewise inspire Asia markets gains despite the series of ongoing concerns", said Jingyi Pan, market strategist for IG in Singapore.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 1.4% on Wednesday to 3,122.87. The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 1.9 per cent, the S&P 500 was up two per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.66 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.9 per cent. In the U.S. overnight, a report showed that the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits eased for a ninth straight week, roughly in line with the market's expectations. That number had dropped the prior week, which had raised hopes that some companies were rehiring workers.

But the World Health Organization warned that the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the global economy to its knees in the wake of mandated shutdowns, is far from over and new cases are on the rise. The index has gained almost 40% since late March.

In the United States, the S&P 500 lost ground as investors took profits in advance of Friday's jobs report, which is expected to show the U.S. unemployment rate skyrocket to a historic 19.7 per cent. That would push the unemployment rate to almost 20% from about 15%.

The S&P 500 was up 2.2% within the first 15 minutes of trading after the government said that US employers added 2.5 million workers to their payrolls last month.

The S&P 500 is now down only about 6.3% from its record set in February after earlier being down almost 34%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.68% from 0.66% late Monday. That area of the market had been one of the first to warn of the coming economic devastation from the coronavirus outbreak, and it has been much more circumspect in recent weeks than the USA stock market.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 4.7% to $39.17 per barrel. Brent crude, the benchmark for global oils, shed 44 cents to $39.35 per barrel in London.

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