Global stocks rally as commodity prices surge

by Jonathan Adams
Global stocks

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up by 0.4%, with China’s blue chips and Japan’s Nikkei each adding nearly 0.3%

Global stocks headed for their first weekly gain in three amid a surge in commodity prices, while traders braced for a key U.S. jobs report later on Friday that could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will ease back on monetary stimulus.

MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets, which tracks stocks in 50 countries, inched up nearly 0.1%, on course for a 0.4% gain this week.

Its broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up by 0.4% on Friday, with China’s blue chips and Japan’s Nikkei each adding nearly 0.3%.

Aluminium prices approached levels last seen in 2018 and copper hovered near 10-year peaks as investors bet on a rapid global recovery from the pandemic, led by the US.

Overnight, Wall Street investors piled into economically-sensitive stocks on the reflation trade, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) to a record high close on Thursday.

The Dow added 0.9%, the S&P 500 advanced 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.

S&P futures pointed to further gains, rising 0.2% on Friday.

U.S. shares rallied, led by financials and industrials, following a report that showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped below 500,000 last week for the first since the COVID-19 pandemic started, signalling the labour market recovery entered a new phase amid a booming economy.

The Russell 1000 Value index added 0.8%, outpacing the Russell 1000 Growth index, which added 0.5%.

The focus now shifts to Friday’s non-farm payrolls report, with estimates ranging between 700,000 and more than 2 million jobs having been created in April.

Get ready for payrolls, they could be huge, Chris Weston, head of research at broker Pepperstone in Melbourne, wrote in a note for clients.

The commodity space is the talk, and financials are the “bull play” going into the payrolls report, he said.



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