U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday as initial jobless claims dropped more than expected ahead of the release of August nonfarm payrolls data Friday.
The S&P 500 logged its 54th record close of the year even as it finished off the day’s highs, gaining 0.3% to 4,536.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 35,443.82 while the Nasdaq Composite was higher by 0.1% at 15,331.18.
Treasuries price action was limited on Thursday as yields kept to narrow ranges over U.S. afternoon, leaving the curve slightly flatter. On outright basis, yields wound up within about a basis point of Wednesday’s close. Activity was muted as investors showed little risk appetite ahead of Friday’s August jobs report.
European stocks remained rangebound near all-time highs on Friday, ahead of U.S. jobs report that investors will analyze for clues on the direction of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
Stoxx 600 Europe Index rose 0.31% on Thursday, DAX increased by 0.10%, and CAC 40 gained 0.06%, while FTSE 100 rose by 0.20%.
Bunds pared gains driven by French and Spanish debt sales. Italian bonds advanced to within a basis point of erasing this week’s drop, which was spurred by a host of hawkish comments from ECB speakers including Robert Holzmann on Tuesday.
Asian stocks advanced for a sixth day, heading for their longest winning streak in nine months, as hardware technology giants rallied. Asian stocks are set to complete a two-week advance ahead of a U.S. jobs report. Sentiment in Asia has improved since late August amid expectations that any tapering by the Federal Reserve will be done gradually.
Oil prices were mixed on Friday after a strong rise in the previous session on a weaker dollar and a fall in U.S. crude stocks and were set for modest weekly gains ahead of a highly anticipated U.S. monthly jobs report.
Brent crude futures price was $73.03 a barrel on Thursday, up 2.01%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures stood at $69.99 down 2.04%.