World markets lower; US jobs data, Greece in focus
Friday’s trading has begun with low sentiment across world markets. US employment data is in focus with analysts expecting the Labor Dept. to announce growth broadly in line with April’s figures, showing solid growth and a slight rise in wages. The volatile bonds market and Greek debt will also be eyed in today’s session. Asian markets have closed the week generally lower ahead of news from the US and Greece with only Shanghai ending higher among the main indexes. European markets are all lower so far as investors await the Labor Dept. figures and potential clues to the Fed’s interest rate plans. Greece will default on its debt repayment Friday and has said it will consolidate four payments into one at the end of the month; allowing more time for a deal to be reached.
US stock futures are trending flat. Oil is trending lower (Brent $61.91, WTI $57.70 at 6am ET). Gold is trending lower.
Employment situation at 8.30am ET
Consumer credit at 3pm ET
The Bancorp, Hurco Companies and Sears Hometown are among the companies reporting earnings today.
IMF urges Fed to wait until next year for interest rate increase
The International Monetary Fund says that the Fed should wait until 2016 before increasing interest rates. The IMF believes that the US economy still needs the help of lower rates in the short-term and revised downwards its outlook for this year’s growth to 2.5 per cent; in April it was predicting 3.1 per cent. IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that hiking rates too soon could be a negative step and would be riskier of waiting even if that allows inflation to nudge higher.
OPEC would be happy at $75
The Iranian oil minister said Friday that most of the cartel’s members consider $75 a barrel to be a fair price for crude oil. Bijan Zanganeh commented as the OPEC members meet in Egypt. He said that Iran was not happy with the current price with July futures trading at below $62.
Massive data breach at government departments
The FBI is investigating after it was revealed that millions of personal records of government personnel have been compromised in a data breach. The attack, which affected the Office of Personnel Management and the Interior Department, is likely to have been carried out by a foreign entity or government according to Reuters. Around 4 million individuals’ personal data may have been accessed.
Fracking does not affect drinking water says study
A report from the US Environmental Protection Agency says that drinking water quality is not widely affected by fracking. The study will come as a blow to environmental groups which have called for curbs on the practice which is banned in some states. It is good news for those companies involved though including Halliburton and Exxon.