U.S. Futures Climb With Europe Stocks; Oil Jumps: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — U.S. equity futures climbed alongside stocks in Europe on Thursday while Asian shares mostly fell as investors sift the latest company earnings and brace for more data that will show the extent of the fallout from the coronavirus. Oil turned higher.

Contracts for all three of the main American equity benchmarks pointed to a positive start on Wall Street after a mixed session on Wednesday, when the S&P 500 finished lower but the Nasdaq advanced. News that top U.S. and Chinese negotiators will speak as soon as next week on trade helped boost sentiment. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained as most national gauges and industry sectors climbed. Crude fluctuated before climbing above $26 a barrel in New York after Saudi Arabia raised prices.

In corporate news:

Telefonica SA was steady after agreeing with Liberty Global Plc to create the U.K.’s largest phone and internet operator. Rival BT Group Plc slumped as it canceled dividends.Nintendo Co. beat its own forecast for sales of the Switch console in the last fiscal year, reflecting surging demand for games and other entertainment during the pandemic.ArcelorMittal SA rose even as it suspended dividend payments and withdrew its global steel outlook because of market uncertainties.After the Wall Street close on Wednesday, Lyft Inc. overcame investors’ worst expectations by pushing closer to profitability. Peloton Interactive Inc. said quarterly revenue soared 66%.

Most European government bonds edged lower as Treasuries drifted. The pound swung between losses and gains after the Bank of England kept its policy settings unchanged and signaled it may expand monetary stimulus as soon as next month. The Norwegian krone pared some of its advance following an unexpected interest rate cut, though it remained well up on the day.

Following a dramatic sell-off in March, risk assets swiftly rebounded in April but stocks have struggled for direction since as bulls and bears duel over the outlook. Optimists point to efforts to reopen economies, a slowing rate of new infections and unprecedented stimulus. Pessimists fret over the mounting economic toll, with data in the largest economy later expected to show another huge jump in jobless claims before the payrolls figure on Friday.

“We remain concerned about the potential for the pandemic to have lasting effects on growth,” wrote Ron Temple, co-head of multi-asset and head of U.S. equity at Lazard Asset Management. “Countries and companies are likely to exit the crisis with significantly higher debt, curtailing their ability to invest and innovate.”

Worries about rising tension between the U.S. and China have added an extra headache for investors lately; the planned call between the two countries may signal an effort to de-escalate the situation.

Most Asian stocks slipped, including in Japan where exchanges opened for the first time this week following a holiday. The yen weakened. China’s yuan advanced offshore after the country reported a surprise gain in exports, even as the coronavirus pandemic damaged global demand.

Elsewhere, the Turkish lira fell to an unprecedented low against the dollar, despite concerted efforts by authorities to keep a lid on depreciation.

Here are some key events coming up:

U.K. markets will be closed on Friday for a holiday.Friday also brings the U.S. jobs report for April, expected to show a severe impact from the pandemic. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists calls for a 21 million plunge in payrolls.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 Index increased 1.5% as of 6:20 a.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.4%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2%.The euro was unchanged at $1.0795.The British pound increased 0.2% to $1.2377.The Japanese yen declined 0.3% to 106.44 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced less than one basis point to 0.71%.Germany’s 10-year yield climbed one basis point to -0.50%.Britain’s 10-year yield increased two basis points to 0.27%.

Commodities

Gold advanced 0.5% to $1,694.09 an ounce.West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 8.6% to $26.06 a barrel.

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