International equity markets finished with mixed results overnight. In Europe, the UK’s FTSE shed 4 points (-0.1%) to settle at 6428 whilst Germany’s DAX added a further 49 points (+0.6%) to settle at 7919. France’s CAC decreased 13 points (-0.4%) to settle at 3774.
In the US, the Dow Jones climbed 42 points (+0.3%) to settle at 14296 whilst the Nasdaq declined two points (-0.1%) to settle at 3222. The S&P added two points (+0.1%) to settle at 1541.
Employment increased by 198,000 in February—beating analyst expectations of a 170,000 increase. US factory orders declined by 2% in January—a better result compared to the expected decrease of 2.2%.
In the commodity space, oil finished lower after it was reported that US crude oil supply increased to 3.83 million barrels—much higher than the analyst estimate of 788,000 barrels.
Crude oil for April delivery fell $0.39 to settle at $90.43 per barrel. Gold futures for April delivery added 0.2% to settle at $1,577.90 per ounce on the back of speculation that central banks will implement further policies to support economic growth.
In the currency space, the Japanese yen finished lower ahead of the upcoming BoJ meeting. The euro fell against the US dollar on the back of speculation the ECB could announce interest rate cuts in the future.
The US dollar finished higher on the back of the positive private jobs data. Today will see the release of the trade balance data (11:30am, AEDT).