US markets set for choppy start after Easter break

06.04.2015 13:08
Phillip Tutt |

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COMMENTSU.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower start to the week after traders had the long Easter weekend to digest the latest unexpectedly weak nonfarm payroll figures.

With the main European stock markets still closed for a public holiday Monday, U.S. investors will be following on from Asia, where stocks outside Japan rose as investors believed the nonfarm payrolls report will delay interest rate hikes in the U.S.

Released at the end of last week, the United States added 126,000 jobs in March, the weakest since 2013 and below expectations of 245,000 in a Reuters poll.

The unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent, in line with expectations, while wages increased slightly more than estimated at 0.3 percent. Equity futures were off about 1 percent on Friday.

Over the weekend, Greece’s finance minister told reporters in Washington after a meeting with International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde that the country “intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum.” Athens is due to pay the IMF 450 million euros ($494 million) Thursday.

In thin trading Monday, the euro was up slightly against the greenback, 0.06 percent at $1.09 while the price of Brent crude was also up, $1.51, at $56.46.

Companies due to announce results today include insurance company Arthur J Gallagher.

The only data release due Monday is the ISM Services index, due at 10am Eastern time.





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