Oct 5, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Expectations are for employers in the U.S. to have added 185,000 positions in September when the number is published at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. That estimate does come with a big caveat. Hurricane Florence is likely to distort the data, which may mute market reaction to a lower-than-forecast number. Average hourly earnings probably increased 2.8 percent, lower than August’s level, but still ahead of inflation as the labor market remains tight.
The Senate will hold a procedural vote this morning to determine if President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has enough support for approval. Should that go his way, a final vote tomorrow afternoon would seal his place on the court. In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, Kavanaugh admitted that he might have been “too emotional” when giving testimony to the Senate last week, saying that he would continue to be a “pro-law judge.” For Republicans, getting their man onto the Supreme Court will be a much-needed victory ahead of next month’s crucial midterm elections.
Copper slipped in trading this morning after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the metal was years away from the supply deficit needed to significantly boost prices. Aluminum is slightly higher on the session, while remaining well below the highs reached yesterday on the news that Norsk Hydro ASA was temporarily shutting the world’s largest alumina processing facility in Brazil. Crude is stabilizing around the $75 level, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for November delivery trading at $74.83 by 5:50 a.m., $10 below the similar Brent contract.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.7 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.5 percent lower as tech stocks in the region fell to a 15-month low as U.S.-China tensions continue to rise. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.6 percent lower at 5:50 a.m., with all major national gauges in the red. S&P 500 futures pointed to a slight drop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was 3.204 percent and gold was higher.
The first round of voting in Brazil’s presidential election is on Sunday, with 13 candidates hoping to make it to the head-to-head runoff on Oct. 28. The current front-runner Jair Bolsonaro, still recovering from being stabbed while on the campaign trail, saw his support rise to 35 percent in the latest opinion poll. The likely runner-up is Fernando Haddad from the Worker’s Party — the current leader ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is disqualified because he’s in prison.