US cash equity markets have added to earlier gains this afternoon (DJIA +1.8%, S&P +1.7%, NASDAQ +1.8%). Investors have welcomed reduced fears of a global trade war as Trump signalled an openness to exemptions beyond Canada and Mexico to his proposed import tariffs. Risk sentiment has also been supported by improving relations between the US and North Korea amid speculation of a meeting between the two leaders. Sector wise, oil related stocks have seen minor outperformance as prices rallied with US crude futures settling at $62.04 (+$1.92). Elsewhere, there was a mixed reaction to the US jobs report as the Dollar softened but US yields moved higher for the day. The jobs figure itself was impressive with a hefty 313K jobs created in January, way above the market consensus for around 200K. However, average hourly earnings were on the soft side as the January print was revised a tenth lower to +2.8% YoY and February slowed to +2.6% YoY.
* New York Fed GDP Nowcast (Q1) revised to +2.83% from +3.05%
* Atlanta Fed GDPNow (Q1) cut to +2.5% from +2.8%
* US Senator Cornyn said Trump has asked him what would happen if he issued NAFTA termination. He added that he hopes the President can be more ‘surgical’ on trade deals and not treat all countries with one-size-fits-all response.
* Lloyd Blankfein Prepares to Exit Goldman Sachs as Soon as Year’s End (WSJ):
- Lloyd Blankfein is preparing to step down as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chief executive as soon as the end of the year, capping a more than 12-year run that would make him one of the longest-serving bosses on Wall Street.
* Boston Fed President Rosengren said rates will have to rise “perhaps a bit faster” than three 25-basis point increases this year.
* Baker Hughes: US oil rigs drop by 4 to 796
* White House says Trump is hopeful to make continued progress in upcoming talks with North Korea, they added that they won’t have the meeting take place unless the White House sees concrete action from North Korea.
* US crude oil futures settled at $62.04 (+$1.92) | Brent crude futures settled at $65.49 (+$1.88)