World Shares, Wall St Futures Advance

World Shares, Wall St Futures Advance

(AP) -- Shares surged Friday in early European trading and Wall Street futures were higher after a broad advance in Asia as investors await U.S. jobs data for May.

Germany's DAX gained 2% to 12,676.90 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 2.1% to 5,114.49. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.2% to 6,414.95.

Fresh stimulus from the European Central Bank helped to soothe the sting from news that Germany's economy is forecast to contract more than 7% this year and take two years to fully recover from the downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In Asia, hopes for a swift recovery helped spur strong gains this week. The Nikkei 225 index in Japan gained 0.7% to 22,863.73, its highest level close since late February.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong surged 1.7% to 24,770.41 after authorities showed restraint as thousands of people defied a police ban to join a candlelight vigil Thursday marking the 31st anniversary of China’s crushing of a democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

That appeared to have eased, at least temporarily, worries over recent efforts by Chinese leaders to exert more control over the former British colony.

India's Sensex rose 1.1% to 34,372.29 and the Kospi in South Korea jumped 1.4% to 2,181.87. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 picked up 0.1% to 5,998.70.

Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Regional airlines were strong gainers after American Airlines surged 41% Thursday, the biggest gain in the S&P 500. It announced it plans to fly 55% of its normal U.S. schedule next month, up from only 20% in April.

Japan Airlines Co. shares jumped nearly 10%. ANA Holdings Inc., Japan's other major carrier, surged 7% and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways climbed 5.5%.

Many professional investors contend the recent rally, a nearly 40% climb for the S&P 500 since late March, is overdone and say a pullback is likely.

But the trillions of dollars in stimulus money unleashed to try to salvage economies ravaged by the pandemic are helping push prices ever higher, analysts say.

“Fundamentals of contracting GDP or expected U.S. unemployment to go above 19% today don’t count. Central Bank liquidity is what drives it all," Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary.

Given the latest market moves, “you would think we're in the best all-time markets not in the midst of a pandemic crisis," Innes said.

Heading into the weekend, attention was focusing on U.S. unemployment data coming later Friday.

Economists expect the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report for May to show employers slashed 8.5 million jobs last month, down from 20.5 million in April. That would push the unemployment rate to nearly 20% from about 15%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.84% from 0.81% late Thursday after rising decisively during the day. It tends to move with investors’ expectations for inflation and the economy’s strength and was one of the first indicators warning of the coming economic devastation from the coronavirus outbreak.

In other trading, a barrel of U.S. crude oil for delivery in July rose 47 cents to $37.88 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. crude rose 12 cents to settle at $37.41 on Thursday.

Brent crude, the international standard, gained 74 cents to $40.73 per barrel. It rose 20 cents to settle at $39.99 per barrel on Thursday.

The Russian news agency TASS, citing an anonymous source, reported Friday that the so-called OPEC+ nations would hold a meeting Saturday.

The meeting comes as Saudi Arabia and Russia appear to want ongoing oil cuts to continue to help boost the market amid weakened demand due to the pandemic.

The dollar was trading at 109.29 Japanese yen, up from 109.15 yen late Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1346 from $1.1336.