Crude oil price continues to trade steadily (current price at 68.7) in European morning as investors await US' employment report. After pleasant surprise from jobless claims data, the market looks for better-than-expected non-farm payroll and unemployment in May. Stock markets hurray with rallies seen in both the Asian and European counters.
The US Labor Department will probably report that non-farm payrolls declined -530K in May, following at -539K drop a month ago, while unemployment rate should have risen 3 percentage points to 9.2%, the highest level since 1983. However, as stabilization was seen in jobless claims data, market participants hope to another set of good result today. Earlier in European morning, the UK reported further moderation in inflation pressure in May. Input PPI declined -9.4% yoy in May following a -5.8% drop a month ago while output PPI plummeted -0.3% after a +1.3% gain in April.
Stock markets in Asia climbed with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gaining 0.8% and Japan Nikkei 225 Stock Average adding 1%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.9%. The major reason for market movement was Rio Tinto's announcement that it will form a JV with BHP Billiton, instead of tying up with Chinalco.
Despite the rumor of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's resignation, UK's FTSE 100 Index opens higher and gains 1.65% to 4459.4 in European morning. Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 also climb 0.5% and 1% respectively.
Today, an analyst on the street pointed out that the VIX (the so-called fear index which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 Index options) has shown 'strong warning signals' for the end of rallies in stocks and high-yield currencies and VIX has risen 7.3% to 31.02 on June 4 after making a 8-month low at 28.92 low in late-May. While we think it's too early to say that stock markets have peaked by using only 1 indicator and just a few data points, it's worth noting that the relationship between VIX and S&P 500 Index, as well as the correlation between S&P 500 Index and crude oil price.
Gold price eases to 978 as USD recovers. Investment demand in gold remains sluggish with gold holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust stayed unchanged at 1132.5 metric tons Thursday. Silver price has little change after rising 3.5% yesterday. Silver has outperformed gold, narrowing the gold-to-silver to 62 from 84 in October, 2008, the highest level since March, 1995.