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13 May 2024 | FXGT.com

Weekly Market Recap – U.S. Labor Market Shows Signs of Weakening as Unemployment Claims Hit 8-Month High

  • U.S. Stocks Extend Gains: U.S. stock indexes continued their upward trend for the third consecutive week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average increasing by approximately 2%, the S&P 500 by 1.6%, and the Nasdaq 100 by 1.30%. The index’s recent rally is attributed to renewed expectations of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, encouraged by signs of cooling in the U.S. labour market.
  • US Labor Market Concerns: The U.S. labour market appears to be softening, with new unemployment claims reaching an eight-month high of 231,000, up from 209,000 the previous week. This rise may indicate slowing job growth.
  • Oil Market Stability: Oil futures ended the week relatively unchanged, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closing at $78.26 a barrel, reflecting a slight increase of 0.2%. The market balanced a significant decrease in U.S. crude inventories against lower geopolitical risks and demand concerns. Focus now shifts to the upcoming OPEC+ meeting on June 1st, where an extension of output cuts is highly anticipated.
  • U.K. Economic Recovery: The U.K. economy showed signs of strong growth, expanding at a 0.6% annual rate in the first quarter of this year, surpassing economists’ expectations. This growth rate is the fastest observed in nearly three years, signalling a rebound from a mild recession in the second half of 2023.
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