By Lorcan Roche Kelly
The January jobs report is expect to show hiring remains robust, with economists forecasting 165,000 new positions in the month. The unemployment rate is seen holding at 3.5% and annual wage growth improving slightly to 3% when the data is published at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. While there is usually little interest in revisions, today’s release will include the annual tally which is anticipated to trim job gains with a drop of as much as 42,000 per month expected for the year through March.
Tidjane Thiam was ousted as chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Group AG after the 13 directors backed Chairman Urs Rohner in a boardroom battle in the wake of a spying scandal. Despite major shareholders calling for the chairman to back Thiam or step down, the board picked Thomas Gottstein, a 20-year veteran of the company, as new CEO. Shares in the bank dropped more than 5% in Zurich trading.
The toll from the coronavirus continues to mount with 636 dead and over 31,000 confirmed cases in China. The number of people on a cruise ship quarantined by Japan has risen to 61, making it the biggest center of the infection anywhere outside China. The economic fallout is also spreading with Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. among carmakers extending shutdowns at their Chinese manufacturing facilities while Burberry Group Plc scrapped its financial guidance for the year, warning the outbreak is cutting sales by 75% or more at stores in the Asian nation.
A volatile week in global markets seems set to end on a down note as gauges pull back this morning. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.6% overnight, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.3% lower. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index had eased 0.4% by 5:50 a.m. as investors rotated into defensive stocks. Ahead of the payrolls report, S&P 500 futures were pointing to a drop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.599% and gold gained.
Aside from the jobs number, it is a fairly quiet day on the U.S. economic data front with only December wholesale inventories at 10:00 a.m. and consumer credit at 3:00 p.m. The Federal Reserve publishes its semi-annual monetary policy report at 11:00 a.m. AbbVie Inc. and Canada Goose Holdings Inc. are among the companies reporting earnings. Ireland votes in a general election tomorrow.