FTSE 100 LIVE: Asian shares stay cautious as US riots weigh on futures

FTSE 100 LIVE: Asian shares stay cautious as US riots weigh on futures

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 retreated 0.5 percent in early action, while gold rose 0.77 percent to $1,739 an ounce. Oil prices also slipped, while sovereign bonds picked up the usual safe-haven bid. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2 percent as did Japan’s Nikkei. “If American consumers were reluctant to come out of their Covid19 lockdown cocoon, fearing a secondary spreader with police cars ablaze, freeways blocked, and videos of mass looting shared through social media like wildfire, they’re not going to feel any safer,’ said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.

The May jobs report due out on Friday is forecast to show the unemployment rate surged to 19.8%, smashing April’s record 14.7 percent.

Payrolls are expected to drop by 7.4 million, on top of the 20.5 million jobs lost the previous month.

“Current unemployment numbers go far beyond what has been experienced in any post-war recession,” wrote Barclays economist Christian Keller in a note.

“To the extent that some sectors may never return to pre-pandemic business-as-usual, labour faces a substantial challenge to reallocate workers,” he added. “Such a process could be a matter of years rather than months or quarters and in the meantime it would weigh on consumer demand.”

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8.55am update: Primark to reopen all stores in England on June 15

Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) has said it is working to reopen all its 153 stores in England on June 15 after the Government gave non-essential retailers the green light to welcome customers again.

It said that it expects to have reopened 281 of its stores by that date, having already reopened 112 of its sites across mainland Europe.

The retailer said it is awaiting further guidance regarding stores in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales but anticipates openings in “late June”.

ABF shut all its Primark stores in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, which it said resulted in a loss of around £650 million for every month that all stores were closed.

8.30am update: FTSE-100 up 81.62

The FTSE-100 index at 8:15am was up 81.62 at 6158.22.

8am update: FTSE-100 opens at 6076.60

The FTSE-100 index opened at 6076.60.

7.15am update: South Africa eases lockdown to fix economy

South Africa has started to lift its two-month lockdown to try and rescue its economy.

Mines and factories are allowed to run at full capacity, while people can go outside to work, worship, exercise and shop.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the lockdown at the end of March.

But the measures have battered the country’s economy which was already in recession before the virus.

5.53am update: Pandemic set to shrink Australian economy in first quarter with worse yet to come

Australia’s economy is expected to have shrunk in the first quarter as the global coronavirus pandemic is set to tip the country into its first recession in three decades.

A Reuters poll of 15 economists forecast the A$2 trillion economy to contract by 0.3 percent in the three months to March – the first quarterly decline in nine years.

Annual growth likely slowed to 1.4 percent from 2.2 percent in 2019, the survey showed.

If the economy contracts in both the March and June quarters it would be Australia’s first technical recession since the early 1990s.

Published at Mon, 01 Jun 2020 04:44:00 +0000