U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest since pandemic
Data released today showed that U.S. jobless claims fell to their lowest level in over a year, as more Americans returned to full-time employment.
Figures released by the Labor Department showed that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell by 26,000 to 360,000.
These figures were for the week that ended July 10th, and are the lowest level since mid-March 2020, and come exactly as markets had forecasted.
Initial jobless claims have now been below 400,000 for the past 8-weeks, as vaccinations in the United States continue to rise.
Despite this, the S&P 500 was down 0.46% as of writing.
British employment levels rise in June
Following on from the United States, figures from Britain today revealed that the jobs market had gained more than expected last month.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that payrolls in the United Kingdom rose by 356,000 from May to June.
This was the highest increase since the peak of the pandemic last March and comes a few days before the UK is expected to further ease lockdown restrictions.
The June rise in employment was mainly driven by the accommodation and food sector which rose by 94,000, plus a 72,000 rise in jobs within administration and support services.
London’s FTSE 100 closed lower for a second consecutive session despite the news.
Oil prices fall as OPEC+ expected to reach agreement
Oil Prices continued to fall in today’s trading session, as it was reported that OPEC and its allies could be set to reach an output agreement.
Energy prices recently rose to multi-year highs, as July’s OPEC+ meeting was cancelled, due to spats between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, however today, it was said that these disagreements were set to be settled.
Many believe that OPEC+ may begin to ease output curbs, and slowly increase supply, for a market which has immense appetite, as the world reopens post-COVID-19.
This also comes as the United States crude stockpiles continue to drop and have now fallen for 8 straight weeks.
WTI crude fell to an intraday low of $71.54 on Thursday.
Quote of the day – “The trend is your friend until the end when it bends.”– Ed Sekoto
Senior Market Analyst