The dollar weakened against all but one of its G-10 peers before a key U.S. jobs report as oil trading below $46 a barrel weighed on global stocks. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was headed for its biggest weekly loss since February and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped to a one-week low.
Crude clawed back some of the last session’s 4.8 percent plunge, which was triggered by data showing a smaller-than-expected decrease in U.S. supplies. New Zealand’s dollar led gains among major currencies as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index retreated. The yen strengthened for a fourth day and Japanese bond yields sank to fresh lows as deadly sniper attacks on police in Dallas bolstered demand for haven assets.
While anxiety over the fallout from the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union flared again in markets this week, the focus of attention on Friday is a U.S. payrolls report that could sway expectations for the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next interest-rate hike. Officials at the central bank flagged concern over job creation at their last meeting, which followed data showing employers in May took on the fewest workers since 2010.
“Investors will find it difficult to make a move ahead of the U.S. data,” said Masayuki Doshida, a senior market analyst with the Rakuten Economic Research Institute in Tokyo. “The U.S. economy is fairly stable, so we’ll be looking at whether the extreme drop in the jobs data last month was a temporary thing. In order to figure out when the next rate increase will be, any revisions to last month’s data will also be in focus.”
Employers in the U.S. probably added 180,000 workers to nonfarm payrolls last month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. That compares with an unexpectedly weak tally of 38,000 reported for May, a figure that helped curb expectations that the Fed would boost interest rates over the summer. The subsequent Brexit vote took an axe to bets on policy tightening in 2016, with the odds on an increase by December having tumbled to just 12 percent in the futures market from more than 70 percent at the start of last month.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed as of 8:19 a.m. London time, poised for a weekly loss of more than 3 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.6 percent, set for a 1.1 percent weekly drop. A measure of energy shares lost 1.1 percent, with oil explorers Cnooc Ltd. and Inpex Corp. sliding 1.8 percent or more. Indonesia’s financial markets were closed for a holiday, while Taiwan’s were shut because of a typhoon.
Japan’s Topix index slid to a two-week low before voters head to the polls Sunday for an upper-house election that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has billed as a gauge of backing for his economic policies. Nintendo Co. soared 8.9 percent in Tokyo after the company’s new mobile-game app Pokemon Go topped charts for free-to-download games in the U.S. and Australia.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index capped a 0.3 percent weekly loss as ballot papers continued to be counted after a national election in Australia last weekend. Results so far indicate it is likely that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal-National coalition will be returned to office, either with a slender majority, or in a minority government with the support of smaller parties.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent.
The kiwi strengthened 0.3 percent versus the greenback and reached a 14-month high against Australia’s dollar. It jumped 1.4 percent in the last session after comments from New Zealand central bank Deputy Governor Grant Spencer crushed expectations that interest rates will be cut anytime soon, boosting the attraction of the highest-yielding G-10 currency. The odds of the nation’s borrowing costs being reduced next month dropped to 42 percent on Friday from as much as 70 percent earlier in the week, derivatives show.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.1 percent, trimming this week’s advance to 0.5 percent. The yen rose 0.2 percent, buoyed by haven demand after four police officers were killed and seven others injured in the shootings at a protest in Dallas. The pound and the euro strengthened 0.1 percent.
The ringgit sank 0.5 percent as trading resumed after a two-day break. Thursday’s slide in crude prices dimmed prospects for Malaysia, Asia’s only major net oil exporter.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9 percent to $45.56 a barrel, paring this week’s slide to about 7 percent. It touched $44.87 in the last session, the lowest level in almost two months, after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 2.2 million barrels last week, less than the 2.5 million-barrel decline forecast by analysts.
Gold fell 0.4 percent, trimming this week’s gain to 1 percent. The precious metal is rising for the sixth week in a row, its longest winning streak in two years. Copper rose 0.2 percent in London as nickel dropped 0.5 percent.
Palm oil dropped as much as 5.6 percent in Kuala Lumpur, the biggest tumble since October 2012. Prices are “feeling the aftershock” after soybean oil and soymeal prices dropped in the past two days, said David Ng, a derivatives specialist at Phillip Futures in the Malaysian capital.
Japanese government bonds gained, with the two- and 10-year yields hitting all-time lows of minus 0.365 percent and minus 0.30 percent, respectively. The rate on U.S. Treasuries due in a decade declined as much as four basis points to 1.34 percent, before retracing the bulk of the move.
“We did see a rally in Treasuries as news filtered through of the unfortunate shootings in Dallas,” said Peter Jolly, the head of market research at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “It has that flight-to-quality, uncertainty, aspect to it.”