European shares edge higher as markets await US jobs news

Semiconductor makers drive rise

The Spanish stock exchange. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 per cent, with technology stocks rising 0.6 per cent.

The Spanish stock exchange. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 per cent, with technology stocks rising 0.6 per cent.

 

European shares edged higher on Friday on a boost from semiconductor makers, while investors awaited a closely watched monthly jobs report from the United States later in the day.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 per cent, with technology stocks rising 0.6 per cent. Semiconductor maker ASML Holding NV rose 0.5 per cent after Micron Technology said it plans to start using ASML EUV machines in production in 2024, while ASM International NV rose nearly 1 per cent as it forecast higher order intake in the second quarter.

Firm

France’s SMCP slipped 0.9 per cent, along with Zara owner Inditex after a judicial source said that the companies were subject to an investigation as they are suspected of concealing “crimes against humanity” in China’s Xinjiang region.

Investors also awaited data which would likely show US job growth picked up in June.

Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.2 per cent and most other markets held firm but MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8 per cent, due to decline in Chinese and Hong Kong shares.

The Shanghai Composite fell 1.7 per cent , on course to mark its biggest fall since March, as investors grew cautious that, with the big celebration out of way, China’s monetary policy could be tightened.

Some investors also noted possible unease among overseas investors over president Xi Jinping’s warning to foreign powers in a speech to mark his party’s centenary, as Sino-US tensions simmer over many issues.

“It is hard to expect loose monetary conditions like before,” said Masahiko Loo, portfolio manager at Alliance Bernstein in Tokyo. Mr Loo also reckoned, that given the increasingly strained state of Sino-US relations, some overseas investors could have been unsettled by Mr Xi Jinping’s warning to foreign powers during his speech to mark the Communist Party’s centenary.

Investors

He said any foreign forces attempting to bully China would will “get their heads bashed”.

“Foreign investors are probably turning cautious after hawkish rhetoric from China’s President Xi Jinping,” Mr Loo said.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 reached its sixth consecutive all-time closing high on Thursday, as a new quarter began with upbeat economic data. Jobless claims continued their downward trajectory, touching their lowest level since the pandemic shutdown. – Reuters