You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • Small cars fare poorly in new front-crash tests
    DETROIT – The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of “good” in new frontal crash tests.The Nissan Leaf, Nissan Juke, Fiat 500L and Mazda ...
  • Economy rebounds with fast 4% growth
    WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.That was the general view of analysts Wed­nesday after the g ...
  • Lincoln National quarterly earnings up 26%
    Lincoln National Corp. today reported second-quarter earnings of $398 million, or $1.48 per diluted common share, a 26 percent increase from the $317 million, or $1.15 a share, posted for the same three months of 2013.
Advertisement

Stocks rise ahead of US jobs report

LONDON (AP) — Stock markets edged higher on Friday ahead of the release of the U.S. government's monthly unemployment report, a key measure of the health of the world's largest economy.

Market sentiment had been buoyant since the day before, thanks to an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank and a sharp drop in U.S. jobless claims figures. Traders held off a big trades on Friday, however, as they waited for the U.S. jobs report, which is one of the calendar's biggest market-movers.

Economists expect the U.S. economy added about 140,000 jobs in April, slightly better than March's 88,000 gain but still much less than the figures reported over the winter. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain steady at 7.6 percent.

By midday in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent at 6,475.93 while Germany's DAX was 0.3 percent higher at 7,982.51. France's CAC-40 rose 0.1 percent to 3,864.43.

Gains in Europe were limited somewhat by the European Union's downgrade of its economic forecasts. In its Spring update, the EU said it expected the 17-country eurozone's economy to shrink 0.4 percent this year, 0.1 percentage points worse than its February prediction.

It expects markedly weaker growth in Germany, the region's biggest economy, and a contraction in France, the second-largest. The fact that the economic slowdown is affecting the larger economies could push the ECB to cut interest rates again, or provide some new measures of support to credit markets in coming months.

On Wall Street, stocks were expected to trade sluggishly on the open. Dow Jones industrial futures were down almost 0.1 percent to 14,746 and S&P 500 futures were flat at 1,591.60.

Earlier, in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent to close at 22,689.96. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4 percent to 1,965.71 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was nearly unchanged at 5,129.50.

Mainland Chinese stocks posted sharp gains, but that was likely due to bargain-hunting after a sharp fall the day before. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.4 percent to 2,205.5 while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 2 percent to 936.58.

Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.

In commodity markets, the benchmark oil contract for June delivery was up 47 cents to $94.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.96, or 3.3 percent, on Thursday, the biggest one-day gain for crude since November.

In currencies, the euro rose 0.5 percent to $1.3124, recovering only some of the sharp losses it incurred on Thursday after the ECB suggested it could cut interest rates again. The dollar rose 0.1 percent against the Japanese yen, to 98.06 yen.

___

Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.

Advertisement