Daily market review

United States

US Treasury yields rose Friday on much stronger-than-expected US employment figures. US equities markets were shut for the Easter holiday.

In economic data, nonfarm payrolls soared 916,000 in March, surpassing Econoday's consensus for a 658,000 increase. The February reading was revised up to 468,000 from 379,000. The unemployment rate eased to 6.0 percent, the lowest in a year, as expected, although it remains 2.5 percentage points higher than its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. The participation rate edged up to 61.5 percent from 61.4 percent.

Also encouraging was the increase in the average workweek to 34.9 hours from 34.6 hours. Average hourly earnings, however, were down 0.1 percent on the month, while Econoday's consensus has anticipated a 0.2 percent increase. On a 12-month basis, earnings growth slowed to 4.2 percent from 5.2 percent the previous month, also below expectations of a 4.6 percent gain.

Separately, fiscal stimulus fed a 12.0 percent surge in unit vehicle sales in March to a 17.7 million rate that far surpassed Econoday's consensus range. This rate was last matched in late 2017.

These price data reflect observations at 12 noon US ET: Spot gold declined 32 cents to US$1,728.87. The US dollar rose vs. most major currencies. The US Treasury 30-year bond yield rose 2 basis points to 2.36 percent and the 10-year note yield rose 4 basis points to 1.72 percent. Dated Brent spot crude oil did not trade due to the holiday.


European markets were on holiday Friday.

Asia Pacific

Global recovery hopes spurred by generous US fiscal spending plans continued to support Asia/Pacific equities markets Friday.

Recovery hopes and strength in tech stocks lifted Chinese markets. The Shanghai composite rose 0.5 percent and the CSI300 gained 1.0 percent.

Korean stocks got a boost from expected strong growth linked to the US infrastructure spending plan and additional expected US fiscal stimulus. The KOSPI rose 0.8 percent, with big tech stocks leading, including Samsung Electronics, up 2.3 percent.

Growth stocks, especially tech, lifted Japanese markets, with chipmakers leading. Chipmakers got an extra lift from a Nikkei report on joint US-Japanese efforts to address global semiconductor shortages. The Nikkei 225 index gained 1.6 percent and the Topix edged up 0.2 percent. Automakers were also strong, with Mazda up 3.2 percent, and Suzuki up 3.1 percent.

Hong Kong and Australian markets were closed for the Easter holiday.

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