Oil and industrial metals drove gains in commodities and European stock index futures advanced after U.S. jobs data crushed speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by July. The pound slumped following polls that showed Britons favor exiting the European Union.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index advanced to levels last seen in October as crude traded near $49 a barrel and zinc rose for an eighth day. Shares of raw-materials producers led gains among Asian equities. Indonesia’s rupiah and Malaysia’s ringgit were the best performers among 31 major currencies, after the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index tumbled on Friday by the most since February, and the pound sank to a three-week low. Sovereign debt gained across most of Asia, extending a global rally that pushed yields to a record low.
The U.S. economy created the fewest jobs last month in almost six years, data showed Friday, and the odds of the Fed raising interest rates by July halved to 27 percent in the futures market. While reduced prospects of a rate hike are giving a lift to dollar-denominated commodities and assets in developing nations, gains are tentative ahead of the U.K.’s June 23 referendum on EU membership. Institutions including the International Monetary Fund have warned of dire fallout if Britain votes to leave.
“It makes sense to buy some protection,” said Nader Naeimi at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney, a company that oversees more than $110 billion. “Fear, worry and volatility are likely to intensify as we get closer” to the vote, he said.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen may give investors some clues to her thinking about the economy when she speaks Monday in Philadelphia ahead of the central bank’s mid-month policy review. Boston Fed chief Eric Rosengren will talk earlier in Helsinki and U.S. officials including Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew are in Beijing for a two-day bilateral economic summit with Chinese counterparts. Financial markets in New Zealand, Sweden and South Korea are closed for holidays.
Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index rose 0.2 percent as of 7:26 a.m. London time, while contracts on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index added 0.5 percent. Germany reported a bigger decline in April factory orders than economists forecast, before a gauge of retail activity in the euro area is scheduled for release.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent, with a gauge of raw-materials producers advancing 1.5 percent. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s largest gold producer, jumped 12 percent in Sydney and BHP Billiton Ltd. surged 3.7 percent. The Topix fell as much as 1.9 percent, before recouping the bulk of its loss as the yen retreated from a one-month high. S&P 500 futures were little changed.
West Texas Intermediate crude added 0.9 percent to $49.06 a barrel, after falling 1.4 percent last week as OPEC refrained from freezing output at a meeting in Vienna. The global oil surplus is shrinking faster than expected and has the potential to send prices as high as $60 a barrel this year, according to Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
Zinc climbed as much as 1.9 percent in London to its highest level since July 2015, buoyed by speculation that mine supply cuts will lead to a worsening deficit. Nickel gained 2.1 percent and copper rose 0.8 percent.
Iron-ore futures in Dalian by about 5 percent after the first decline in Chinese port inventories in three weeks. Stockpiles fell 0.4 percent last week to 100.25 million metric tons, according to data compiled by Shanghai Steelhome Information Technology Co.
The pound dropped as much as 1.1 percent versus the dollar after an ITV opinion poll found 45 percent of Britons backed the ‘Leave’ campaign, compared with the 41 percent who were for ‘Remain.’ The numbers were 43 percent for ‘Leave’ and 41 percent for ‘Remain’ in a TNS survey.
“If there’s any one other currency investors may want to go short on besides paring long dollar positions that would be sterling,” said Vishnu Varathan, a Singapore-based economist at Mizuho Bank Ltd. “There’s a binary event risk of much greater proportions than just a policy move. Sterling very much remains on the backfoot.”
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was up 0.3 percent, after tumbling 1.5 percent in the last session following the U.S. jobs report. Payrolls climbed by 38,000 in May, less than the most pessimistic estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
The yen weakened 0.4 percent versus the greenback, after a 2.2 percent surge on Friday that marked its biggest gain since April. The euro fell 0.2 percent, after a 1.9 percent gain on Friday that was biggest jump of the year. The Australian and New Zealand dollars were down 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, after surging by about 2 percent on Friday.
The rupiah rose 1.4 percent, its biggest gain since October, and the ringgit strengthened 1 percent. The U.S. employment data came out after most Asian markets had closed last week.
China’s yuan fell to its lowest level against a basket of peers since November 2014 after the central bank strengthened the fixing by less than expected following a slump in the dollar. The currency was 0.2 percent weaker versus the dollar in Shanghai, after jumping 0.7 percent on Friday. The People’s Bank of China strengthened its reference rate by 0.5 percent.
“It seems to me that the Chinese authorities still have a weakening bias in the currency,” said Zhou Hao, a Singapore-based economist at Commerzbank AG, who had predicted the fixing would be 1 percent stronger.
Government bonds rose in Asia, extending a rally that drove global yields to a record low at the end of last week.
The yield on the Bloomberg Global Developed Sovereign Bond Index dropped to 0.62 percent on Friday, the least in data going back to 2010. Australia’s 10-year yield fell to an all-time low of 2.15 percent. Japan’s slid to negative 0.125 percent, approaching the record minus 0.135 percent. Treasuries were little changed Monday after yields slid the most in four months on Friday.