US stocks rallied on Wednesday led by gains in health-care consumer discretionary and materials stocks. The dollar strengthened, with the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, closing 0.4% higher. S&P 500 rallied 1.9%, but the benchmark lost 2.6% over the month and dropped 6.9% over the past quarter. Materials and energy sectors suffered the steepest declines among the sectors sensitive to economic growth – 17% and 18% respectively. Stocks advanced on positive report from Automatic Data Processing Inc. which showed better-than-expected job gains in the private sector in September, with the private sector adding 200,000 jobs against expected 190000. Investors discounted a disappointing reading of Chicago PMI, which fell to 48.7 in September from 54.4 in August, indicating manufacturing contracted in Chicago area. Readings below 50 indicate deteriorating activity. Today at 13:30 CET Initial jobless claims and Continuing Claims will be released in US. The tentative outlook is negative. At 15:00 CET ISM Manufacturing PMI for September will be published. The tentative outlook is negative. And at 19:30 CET Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Williams will speak on economic outlook in Salt Lake City.
European stocks closed higher on Wednesday. The euro weakened against the dollar as the ADP report showed the private sector in US added more jobs than expected and disinflation set in euro-zone with inflation reading coming in at negative 0.1% for September. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 2.5% to 344.71, rebounding from 2.9% loss over the last two trading days on concerns about China’s slowing economy. Euro-zone unemployment edged higher to 11% in August from 10.9% the previous month. Deteriorating employment and inflation point to likelihood of monetary stimulus program expansion by the European Central Bank. Nevertheless, on Tuesday ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said the euro-zone’s economic recovery has firmed, unlike in January when the ECB was debating quantitative easing. Today September final Manufacturing PMIs for France, Germany and euro-zone were released. The euro-zone PMI reading came in unchanged at 52.0 while German’s PMi was revised downward to 52.3 from 52.5, and the final reading for France was revised upward to 50.6 from 50.4. Today at 10:30 CET September Manufacturing PMI will be published in UK. The tentative outlook is negative.
Nikkei rose 1.9% today as investor optimism was buoyed by the report on China’s manufacturing activity which showed China’s official PMI edged higher in September to 49.8 from 49.7. Market participants attributed the rally partly to purchasing by various pension funds at the start of the second half of fiscal year. Exporters outperformed, with Toyota Motor Corp shares climbing 2.6% and Nissan Motor Co gaining 5.1% after Credit Suisse had its stock rating upgraded to ‘outperform’ from ‘neutral’.
Oil futures prices are rising today after a report by Joint Oil Data Initiative indicated world oil demand increased in the first six months this year against the same period in 2014 as crude oil prices fell by as much as half in many countries.