Global Stocks Rise on Friday

Global Stocks Rise on Friday

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mostly higher Friday, though markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong declined a day after the Chinese Communist Party marked its centenary with tough talk by President Xi Jinping.

France's CAC 40 edged down nearly 0.1% to 6,548.52. German's DAX gained 0.2% to 15,629.70. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% to 7,134.65. The future for the Dow industrials was virtually unchanged at 34,511.0, and the S&P 500 future edged up less than 0.1%.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.3% to finish at 28,783.28. South Korea's Kospi was little changed, inching down less than 0.1% to 3,281.78. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6% to 7,308.60. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.8% to 28,310.42, while the Shanghai Composite was also down nearly 2% at 3,518.76.

In his speech, Xi warned that anyone who tries to bully China “will face broken heads and bloodshed.”

He appeared to be hitting back at the U.S. and others that have criticized China's trade and technology polices, military expansion and human rights record. The harsh rhetoric also appeared aimed at a domestic audience. But coming at a time of sharp tension with Washington, it struck an ominous tone.

Concerns about the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and whether vaccinations can contain it also are overhanging markets in Asia.

Fitch Solutions forecast in a report that Japan's economy will start to recover as growing numbers of people are vaccinated for COVID-19. Japan's vaccine rollout pace is about the same as the rest of Asia's, with about 10% of the population fully vaccinated. That lags the U.S. and much of Europe.

”We do note that the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic did create a significantly low base from which to grow from," Fitch said.

“The recovery in retail sales and consumer confidence will rely on the ability of the government to vaccinate enough of the population, so as to allow for the gradual easing of restrictions.”

Investors have been encouraged by data that show the economy continues its recovery from the pandemic. The latest U.S. weekly unemployment report showed the lowest number of claims for jobless aid since the pandemic walloped the economy. The highly anticipated U.S. jobs report for June comes out later in the day.

Employment has been one of the shakier areas of the economic recovery, lagging other measures such as consumer confidence and retail sales. Economists and analysts have said that a much fuller and more stable recovery depends on more people going back to work.

Economists surveyed by FactSet expect the U.S. economy created 675,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.7%.

The June jobs report is also being closely watched as a potential gauge for when the Federal Reserve might start easing its bond purchases and other measures that have kept interest rates low. Inflation fears have somewhat subsided, but investors are still trying to figure out whether rising inflation will be temporary or more long-lasting.

Investors will look to see if wages kept rising, which could add to inflation.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 5 cents to $75.28 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 2 cents to $75.86 barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 111.43 Japanese yen from 111.51 yen late Thursday. The euro cost $1.1829, down from $1.1847.