August 4, 2017
It’s jobs day, a grand jury is formed in the Trump-Russia investigation, and Brexit bites banks. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
The jobs report for July comes out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time and economists expect the report to show that the U.S. labor market is ticking along steadily with 180,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate falling to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent. The data, which will give a scorecard for the first six months of Donald Trump’s presidency, will provide more clues on wage growth in the months ahead. The numbers may set the tone for the trading session after weak car sales data spurred bullish Treasury bets earlier this week.
The dollar index is headed for a fourth straight weekly decline after yesterday’s report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is using a federal grand jury in Washington to help his probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with associates of the Trump campaign, according to three people familiar with the investigation. White House lawyer Ty Cobb said the administration “favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly.” Subpoenas have been issued related to a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., a Russian lawyer, and other parties, Reuters reported.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc picked Amsterdam as its post-Brexit European Union trading hub and is preparing to move 150 jobs to the Dutch city, the lender said after delivering better-than-expected results for the second quarter. RBS needs the unit to guarantee access to the EU’s single market in the event London loses passporting rights after the vote to leave the trading bloc last year. RBS shares rose as much as 5 percent after it posted 680 million pounds ($894 million) in net income, suggesting Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan is finally making progress in turning round what was once the world’s largest lender. Two U.S. algorithmic-trading firms this week also picked Amsterdam over London as the location for their first European office, buttressing the former’s status as an expanding financial hub post-Brexit.
European and Asian stocks lack direction as investors mull the latest saga from D.C. and brace for jobs data. The MSCI All-Country World Index advanced less than 0.05 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi index bounced back after Thursday’s selloff. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.1 percent as of 5:37 a.m., while S&P 500 futures were broadly unchanged.
Uber Technologies Inc.’s auto-lending program is facing fresh questions after it leased cars prone to fires in Singapore, the Wall Street Journal reported. Uber said it took “swift action to fix the problem” after learning of the auto fires and worked with Singapore officials on its response. Uber has been beset by legal and management turmoil over the past year, and paid $20 million to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawsuit in January. Still, its many missteps haven’t slammed the brakes on revenue growth.