ASIAN STOCKS RISE ON VACCINE HOPES
Asian stocks tracked Wall Street higher on Thursday although sentiment was cautious ahead of US employment data while copper prices jumped to more than six-month highs on a better global outlook and supply fears in top producer Chile, Swati Pandey and Imani Moise wrote for Reuters on July 2, 2020.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan rose 0.9% with all major indexes trading higher on hopes of a vaccine for COVID-19, which has killed more than half a million people globally and shut down the world economy. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.4%, China’s blue-chip index added 0.6% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.7%. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 were flat.
US employment figures due later in the day are expected to show if the world’s largest economy can sustain its fragile recovery as new COVID-19 cases accelerate in several southern states. Economists polled by Reuters expect private employers to show 2.9 new million new jobs June, which would follow a surprise increase in May.
Casting some doubt over that projection, however, was a smaller-than-expected increase in jobs seen in the ADP report on Wednesday. “A better-than-expected outcome could go some way to settling the near-term debate that the US labor market will heal relatively quickly and justify new highs in US equities,” said Stephen Innes, strategist at AxiCorp.