GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks rally into U.S. jobs report amid surging commodity prices

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks rally into U.S. jobs report amid surging commodity prices
Credit: © Reuters.

* Asia stocks gain after Dow hits record on reflation trade

* Commodities soar to multi-year highs on global recovery bets

* Dollar weakens, U.S. yields soften before Friday's jobs data

* Gold trades above $1,800 amid outlook for higher inflation

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO, May 7 (Reuters) - Global stocks headed for their first weekly gain in three amid a surge in commodity prices, while traders braced for a key U.S. jobs report later on Friday that could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will ease back on monetary stimulus.

MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks stocks in 50 countries, edged up about 0.1%, on course for a 0.4% gain this week.

Its broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ticked up by about 0.4% on Friday, with China's blue chips .CSI300 and Japan's Nikkei .N225 each gaining about 0.3%.

Aluminum prices approached levels last seen in 2018 and copper CMCU3 flirted with 10-year peaks as investors bet on a rapid global recovery from the pandemic, led by the United States.

Overnight, Wall Street investors piled into economically-sensitive stocks on the reflation trade, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record high close on Thursday.

The Dow .DJI rose 0.9%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.4%.

S&P futures EScv1 pointed to further gains, rising 0.2% on Friday.

U.S. shares rallied, led by financials and industrials, after a report showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell below 500,000 last week for the first since the COVID-19 pandemic started, signalling the labour market recovery entered a new phase amid a booming economy. Russell 1000 Value index .RLV gained 0.8%, outpacing the Russell 1000 Growth index .RLG , which rose 0.5%.

The focus now shifts to Friday's non-farm payrolls report, with estimates ranging widely between 700,000 and more than 2 million jobs having been created in April.

"Get ready for payrolls, they could be huge," Chris Weston, head of research at broker Pepperstone in Melbourne, wrote in a note for clients.

"The commodity space is the talk," and financials are the "bull play" going into the payrolls report, he said.

The safe-haven dollar sank to its lowest level this week against a basket of major peers on Friday ahead of the jobs report, as firmness in global stock markets boosted risk appetite.

The dollar index =USD dipped to 90.837, and was on track for a 0.4% decline this week.

Treasury yields hovered near the lowest level this month on Friday, further removing support for the greenback, after bond traders largely shrugged off the better-than-expected initial jobless claims data and waited for the non-farm payrolls report to provide market direction.

The 10-year Treasury note US10YT=RR yielded 1.5714% early in the Asian session.

Gold XAU= headed for a 2.5% weekly gain, the most since December, as the weaker dollar and easing Treasury yields propelled the precious metal, an inflation hedge, above the key $1,800 an ounce psychological level to last trade at $1,813.54.

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