U.S. markets closed higher on Friday on gains in oil price and materials stocks, which offset a disappointing jobs report. The Dow Jones closed 0.5% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.4%. Despite all three indexes closing in the green, each one posted a weekly loss.
Today, Monday, stocks opened higher, while commodities fell and oil climbed. Here’s what you need to know about today’s market:
Global Equity Markets Higher
With the exception of China, global equities markets are higher. The Shanghai Composite Index dove 2.8% after the release of disappointing data over the weekend. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was also down 0.2%.
Over in Europe, however, the Stoxx 600 Index was up 3.8%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.4% earlier in the morning.
Iron ore prices plummeted again, with the SGX AsiaClear contract in Singapore down 9.1%. Spot ore prices in Qingdao tumbled more than 17% from its recent high. Stockpiles in China reached their highest level in over 12 months, leading to the decline in prices.
Gold futures declined to $1,279.85 a troy ounce, down $14.50 (1.1%). Copper futures dropped to a four-week low on worries of China’s slowing economy.
WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude was up 2% in morning trade. Disruptions caused by the wildfires in Alberta, Canada have reduced supplies by 1 million barrels per day.
U.S. crude was up 2.4% ($1.07) to $45.73 per barrel. Brent added 87 cents, up 1.9%, trading at $46.24.
Yen Slumps on Intervention Hint
The dollar firmed against major currencies as the yen slumped to a two-week low. The slump was driven by Japan’s finance minister’s remarks that officials were preparing to intervene to stem the yen’s gains if needed.
Weak China Data Reignites Growth Concerns
China released its trade data for the month on Sunday. The report showed that imports and exports both fell more than anticipated in the month of April, reigniting concerns over the health of China’s economy.
Exports were down 1.8% compared to the previous year. Economists estimated a 0.1% decline. Imports were down 10.9%, while analysts were expecting a fall of 5%.