(Bloomberg) — US stocks gained in early trading after data showed applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, while remaining near historic lows. Treasury yields ticked lower and a gauge of the dollar extended declines.
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The S&P 500 bounced back from two days of losses on Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose more than 1% following gains for Asian technology stocks earlier amid signs China is easing a regulatory crackdown. Tesla Inc. climbed more than 4%, with tech giants including Apple Inc. Amazon.com Inc. also among the biggest gainers.
US jobs data failed to hold any unwanted surprises, while underscoring the resilience of the labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary tightening. Initial unemployment claims rose to 225,000, inline with expectations, in the week ended Dec. 24. Continuing claims rose to 1.7 million in the week ended Dec. 17, the most since early February.
The rally, especially in tech, is a small ray of light as the year draws to a close with investors again focused on risks arising from the spread of Covid-19. The US said Wednesday it would require inbound airline passengers from China to show a negative Covid-19 test prior to entry. In Italy, health officials said they would test arrivals from China after almost half of passengers on two flights from China to Milan were found to have the virus.
Hong Kong removed limits on gatherings and testing for travelers in a further unwinding of its last major Covid rules, offering a boost to the global economy but sparking concerns it would amplify inflation pressures and prompt US policy makers to maintain tight monetary settings.
“Investors are going into 2023 with a cautious mindset, prepared for more rate hikes, and expecting recessions around the globe.” said Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda Europe Ltd. “And then there’s China and its u-turn on Covid prevention. It’s been quite the shift from fighting every case to living with the virus and that creates enormous uncertainty for the start of the year.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 index erased losses to trade little changed, with gains for technology stocks offsetting declines for retail and consumer-focused shares.
Global equities have lost a fifth of their value in 2022, the largest decline since 2008 on an annual basis, and an index of global bonds has slumped 16% amid sticky inflation and rising interest rates.
Elsewhere in markets, oil dipped amid thin liquidity as investors weighed the fallout from a Russian ban on exports to buyers that adhere to a price cap.
Key events this week:
Some of the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 rose 0.7% as of 9:30 a.m. New York time
The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.1%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%
The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3%
The MSCI World index rose 0.5%
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.5%
The euro rose 0.4% to $1.0659
The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.2054
The Japanese yen rose 1% to 133.10 per dollar
Bitcoin rose 0.6% to $16,614.62
Ether rose 1.2% to $1,201.35
The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 3.86%
Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 2.49%
Britain’s 10-year yield advanced five basis points to 3.71%
This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.
–With assistance from Richard Henderson.
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