Global equities stumbled into June, while the dollar declined, as lackluster economic data rekindled concern over global growth before a series of events that could set the tone in financial markets for the next six months.
The dollar slipped following its best month in almost two years, as a Federal Reserve report showed tightening in the labor market. The yen gained the most among major peers as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to delay a sales-tax increase fueled speculation the central bank will hold off on boosting stimulus. While ending the day higher, the S&P 500 Index failed to hold above a key level as the MSCI All-Country World Index lost 0.1 percent. U.S. oil settled just above $49 a barrel before an OPEC meeting Thursday.
Global markets entered June on cautious footing with meetings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the European Central Bank Thursday likely to color how investors trade in a month that will also see Britain vote on whether to stay in the European Union. Surprisingly good U.S. manufacturing data was parsed with underwhelming figures in Asia and Europe, with traders looking ahead to Friday’s American payrolls report as the Fed’s next policy review looms. The central bank’s latest economic survey showed “modest” expansion across most of the country in the past six weeks.
“Throughout the day, people are starting to think about some of the details behind the manufacturing numbers and looking forward to what’s coming in the next few days with ADP and unemployment,” said Bryce Doty, a senior portfolio manager at Sit Investment Associates which oversees $14 billion, referring to Thursday’s private jobs report from the ADP Research Institute. “The market is struggling with how to absorb that,” he said.