Home » Interest rate cuts could switch ‘from stroll to a sprint’ after US jobs surprise

Interest rate cuts could switch ‘from stroll to a sprint’ after US jobs surprise

Thanks for joining me. Hong Kong led another rally across Asian markets thanks to a surge in tech giants, putting it on course for its strongest run since 2018.

The Hang Seng was the standout performer overnight thanks to buying of heavyweights including Alibaba and JD.com.

5 things to start your day 

1) Apple suffers biggest iPhone sales slump in three years | Decline comes as Chinese shoppers turn their back on the tech company

2) Inflation crisis was fuelled by economic groupthink, says Lord Mervyn King | Former Bank of England Governor blames 40-year-high CPI on lack of dissenting voices

3) Oil boss accused of driving up petrol prices by colluding with rivals | Leading US energy executive barred from ExxonMobil board over alleged Opec collaboration

4) How Barclays became a lightning rod for Gaza activists | After bowing to pressure from climate protesters, the bank is facing a fresh wave of accusations

5) Annabel Denham: Angela Rayner’s humiliation is a rare gift to Britain | Labour’s decision to water down its workers’ rights plan proves it was never needed in the first place

What happened overnight 

Asian shares were mostly higher ahead of a report on the US jobs market, while several major markets including Tokyo and Shanghai were closed for holidays.

The Japanese yen strengthened slightly against the US dollar amid signs of heavy central bank intervention.

The financial newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that estimates showed the Bank of Japan spending an estimated 8 trillion yen (about £42bn) this week in trying to keep the yen from slipping further against the dollar.

While a weak yen can be a boon to Japanese companies that earn much of their revenues overseas, significant shifts in the foreign exchange market can play havoc with corporate planning and a sharply weaker yen also boosts costs for imports of oil and other vital commodities.

The dollar was trading at 153.08, down from 153.65 late Thursday. The pound rose 0.2pc $1.255.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1pc to 18,301.11, tracking gains on Wall Street. News of fresh moves by Chinese leaders to energise the economy helped drive buying of technology shares.

E-commerce giant Alibaba climbed 3.5pc and rival JD.com was up 4.2pc.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7pc to 7,637.00 and the Kospi in Seoul edged 0.2pc higher. Taiwan’s Taiex picked up 0.8pc.

In America, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading US companies rose 0.9pc, to 38,225.66, while the S&P 500 gained 0.9pc, to 5,064.20; and the Nasdaq Composite index gained 1.5pc, to 15,840.96.

US Treasury yields were choppy in the wake of the Fed and economic data, and the yield on benchmark US 10-year bonds fell to 4.583pc, from 4.591pc late on Wednesday.