On the other hand, the number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits increased unexpectedly last week, but it is likely that the increase does not accurately reflect the rapid improvement in labor market conditions, as more sectors of the economy resume activity alongside the start of the fiscal stimulus package. . The US Labor Department said on Thursday that the total government jobless claims submitted for the first time reached an adjusted level in light of seasonal factors at 744,000 applications for the week ending on April 3, compared to 728,000 in the previous week.
Economists polled by (Reuters) had expected 680,000 applications in the most recent week. The government last week announced that the economy had created 916,000 jobs in March, the highest level in seven months. Job vacancies increased to a two-year peak in February. But employment activity is still 8.4 million people below its peak in February 2020. The labor market has regained strength after faltering in December, thanks to the massive White House $ 1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package and the acceleration of Covid-19 vaccination. This allows more service sector activities to resume.
European stocks hit record highs, Thursday, thanks to optimism about a stimulus-driven global economic recovery after the US Federal Reserve pledged to keep monetary policy soft.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5% by 0720 GMT, consolidating the gains it made this week when it wiped out all losses driven by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mining, auto industry and retail stocks led the gains on the index, rising by between 0.7% and 1% in early trade.
The minutes of the US central bank’s most recent policy meeting revealed on Wednesday that Fed officials are still concerned about the existing risks of the Coronavirus pandemic and are committed to strengthening the economy until a more robust recovery occurs.
Investors generally ignored the announcement by several European countries of restrictions on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 for people of younger ages, after its link to the occurrence of rare blood clots was revealed. British pharmaceutical maker rose 0.7%.
Japanese shares fell on Thursday, as they came under pressure from a rise in domestic infections with the Corona virus and the possible return of restrictions on economic activity.
The Nikkei index fell 0.07% to 29,708.98 points, while the broader Topix index fell 0.79% to 1,951.86 points.
On Thursday, the governor of Tokyo said that she would ask the central government to adopt emergency measures in the capital to combat a sudden increase in coronavirus infections and the spread of a new strain of the virus.
The city of Osaka, in the west of the country, is also expected to declare a medical emergency after the number of new infections in it rose to a record level, which raised a state of anxiety among public health officials.
The lowest performing stocks on the Topix 30 were Confirmation of Pharmaceuticals, which fell 3.08%, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which fell 2.51%.
Metals shares were among the winners, rising 4.85% after the Nikkei newspaper reported that a group led by Bain Capital had appeared as a preferred bidder for a 53% stake in the company, worth about $ 7.3 billion.
Shares of its parent company, Hitachi, fell 0.87%.
Toshiba’s shares fell 0.44%, a day after the company received an offer of $ 20 billion from CVC Capital Partners to convert it into a private company. The shares hit their highest in more than four years on Wednesday. (Reuters)