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World stocks diverge, oil prices rally awaiting US jobs data

May 05, 2021 00:00:00

LONDON, May 4 (AFP): Equity markets traded mixed Tuesday, as oil prices rallied and the dollar firmed looking ahead to key US jobs data later in the week.

There were few catalysts to drive business on Asian and European stock markets, with Tokyo and mainland China's bourses closed for holidays and London reopening after a long weekend break in the UK.

Traders are awaiting the release Friday of US jobs data for April, with some observers suggesting around one million positions created.

Despite the mixed showing, "the world remains almost perfect for equities", said Chris Iggo at AXA Investment Managers.

Amid economic recovery, rising earnings and rich valuations, "no one is taking the punch bowl away for now", he added.

Still, with equities sitting around record or multi-year highs after a more than year-long rally, there is a feeling that they are in store for a small correction soon, before resuming their upward march.

In Asia, Hong Kong rose a day after data showed the financial hub had finally escaped recession following seven quarters of contraction caused by the pandemic and the 2019 democracy protests.

In Europe, London and Paris rose nearing the half-way stage but Frankfurt slipped.

Oil prices extended Monday's rally with traders hopeful for a resumption of travel in Europe as leaders look at easing restrictions on foreign tourists as early as next month.

Along with the rollout of jabs, that was helping offset concerns about the frightening coronavirus surge in India that has crippled the country's health system and led to calls for strict lockdowns.

Pfizer sharply increased its projections for 2021 revenues and profits on Tuesday, citing much higher sales from its Covid-19 vaccine sales.

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