US stocks mixed ahead of jobs report

Stocks on Wall Street were mixed and the dollar jumped on Thursday as investors favored safer assets following dismal data from China and ahead of US jobs numbers.

The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 spent much of the day as fresh shutdowns in China in response to Covid-19 and weak manufacturing data from the country, fueled investor concerns that the economy might not be the same. the world is slowing down.

But those positions reversed largely late in the session on Thursday as investors awaited Friday’s US jobs data, which is expected to weigh heavily on its decision-making. Federal Reserve on the scale of interest rate hikes at its September meeting.

The Nasdaq Composite, home to a large concentration of US technology stocks, ended the day down 0.3%, after falling to a one-month low.

“The Nasdaq move is a continuation of what we saw last month. Mark Stoeckle, managing director and portfolio manager at Adams Funds.

Traders have dived into the dollar, seen as a haven during market turbulence, sending the US currency’s index against half a dozen other currencies surging nearly 1% to fresh all-time highs. 20 years. Other currencies fell against the dollar, with the British pound falling 0.7% to $1.154, the euro down 1.1% to $0.994, and the Japanese yen down 0.9% 140 yen for the first time since 1998.

Wall Street’s blue-chip S&P 500 index rose 0.3%, reversing a day in the red in the final minutes of trading. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 ended Thursday 1.8% lower.

Semiconductor shares fall after US officials tell chip maker Nvidia stopped selling two chips designed for artificial intelligence to Chinese companies. Nvidia fell 7.7%, while other semiconductor groups also fell. Advanced Micro Devices is down 3%, while Semtech is down 27%.

Line chart above one dollar shows yen has dropped to lowest level since 1998

Concerns about global growth flared after Chinese authorities on Thursday decided to shut down the city of Chengdu, as officials stuck to the country’s zero-Covid policy.

China’s Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was also worse than expected, recording 49.5 for August, down from 50.4 in July and below expectations of 50.2. Any number below 50 signals a contraction.

Grace Ng, an economist at JPMorgan, said the report raised “concerns about slowing external demand” for products made in the country’s vast factory sector.

Oil, which is sensitive to global growth expectations, has extended a recent pullback. Brent, the international standard, fell 3.4% to $92.36 a barrel.

Strong labor market data from the US on Thursday also raised concerns that the Federal Reserve will continue to rapidly raise interest rates in the coming months.

Initial jobless claims hit 232,000 for the week ended August 27, according to data from the labor department, significantly below estimates of 248,000.

“While still not entirely accurate due to potential seasonal adjustment difficulties, recent stability. . . Cases of first-time unemployment seem to signal that the labor market remains buoyant, said economists at research firm Maria Fiorini Ramirez.

Yields on the two-year bond, which closely tracks interest rate expectations, hit a 15-year high earlier in the day. At the end of the day, it has eased some of that move and is trading 0.02 percentage points higher at 3.51 percent.

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