(Nov 7): European stocks rose as earnings from Allianz SE and Swiss Re AG beat estimates, while U.S. equity- index futures advanced and the dollar headed for its best week in 16 months before a monthly jobs report. The ruble weakened to an all-time low.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2 percent at 9:55 a.m. in London. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.1 percent after the gauge closed at a record high. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is poised for a 1.6 percent gain this week that took it to the highest since 2009 today. The ruble weakened 1 percent as Brent oil headed for its longest weekly decline in 13 years.
U.S. employers probably added more workers in October and the jobless rate held at the lowest level since July 2008, economists said before today’s report. While U.S. jobs data may signal the economy is strong enough to keep the Federal Reserve on course to increase interest rates, central banks in Europe, Japan and China are signaling more easing. Allianz, Europe’s largest insurer, pledged higher payouts to shareholders, and Swiss Re’s profit jumped 14 percent.
“We’re finally seeing some improvement in European earnings and I think we’re really close to bottoming out,” said Luca Paolini, the London-based chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management Ltd. “With data clearly pointing to a strong U.S. economy, we’ve forgotten all about global-growth concerns. The labor market there looks pretty solid and with the price of oil dropping, think of all that extra spending power consumers will have.”
The Stoxx 600 is heading for its third weekly gain, having reversed its losses after the European Central Bank pledged to increase stimulus if necessary.
Allianz rallied 4.9 percent, the most in two years. Swiss Re, the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, rose 2.9 percent.
Fugro NV climbed 6 percent, heading for its biggest weekly gain since the Dutch deepwater-oilfield surveyor sold shares to the public in 1992. Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised investors to buy the stock, citing price declines this year. Fugro lost 75 percent in the first 10 months of 2014.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.6 percent, extending its five-day slump to 3 percent, the worst performance since the period ended Sept. 12.
The ruble slid to 47.34 per dollar, after earlier weakening as much as 3.8 percent to a record 48.6495. The Micex rose 1.1 percent as the decline in the currency boosts the profit outlook for exporters. The dollar-denominated RTS Index slumped 3.5 percent, dropping below 1,000 for the first time since 2009.
Ukraine’s 2017 Eurobond fell for a fifth day, sending the yield up five basis points to a three-week high of 15.74 percent.
Ukraine said there were 26 outbreaks of fighting yesterday between its forces and separatists in the east, while the rebels said government troops had gone on a large-scale military push there. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with his security council last night on the escalation.
Brent crude was little changed at $82.84 a barrel, heading for its seventh weekly decline, the longest retreat since November 2001. West Texas Intermediate was little changed at $77.93 a barrel. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which produces 40 percent of the world’s oil, cut every published forecast yesterday for demand for its crude through 2035, except for next year.
Gold advanced 0.4 percent to $1,146.51 an ounce and silver gained 0.5 percent to $15.49 an ounce, erasing earlier drops to the lowest level in more than four years. Platinum rose 0.2 percent and palladium climbed 0.6 percent. All four metals headed for a weekly decline. Government bonds were little changed, with the Treasury 10-year note yield at 2.39 percent, from 2.34 percent at the end of last week. Germany’s 10-year yield was at 0.84 percent.