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Markets stumble as US job openings decline

Stock markets dropped on Tuesday following several strong trading sessions after the number of job openings in the US fell to its lowest level in nearly 2 years. A total of 9.9 million jobs were available to applicants in the US in February, down from 10.6 million in January, according to the Labor Department’s JOLTS job report. Many investors interpret a rapidly deteriorating labour market as a signal that recession may be around the corner

Alessandro Fezzi, LGT
Tempo di lettura
5 minuto
Jobs sign
© Schutterstock

Equity markets in New York slipped following the Labor Department’s job report. The Dow Jones Industrial fell 0.59% to end the day at 33,402.38 points and the S&P 500 lost 0.58%, closing at 4,100.60 points. On the Nasdaq, the major tech indices fell by around 0.4%.

Markets in Asia markets were trading more mixed on Wednesday after a surprise 50-basis-point interest rate hike by New Zealand’s central bank. The New Zealand dollar strengthened following the decision, but New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was nevertheless trading down 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose marginally. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.3% and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.25%. Markets in China were closed for a public holiday.

The recent financial sector instability that caused three US banks to collapse in March came back into headlines Tuesday when JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the effects of the turmoil will still be felt for years to come. The CEO of the largest US bank told shareholders in an annual message that financial conditions will likely tighten for many years because of the banking troubles.

Also, in reaction to the financial sector turmoil on Tuesday, shareholders rejected compensation for the executive board of Credit Suisse after the bank agreed to be taken over by UBS last month. The bank was suffering from a lack of confidence after being involved in several high-profile blunders in recent years when the volatility among US lenders eventually spilled over to the Swiss giant.

In addition to financial sector concern, the world saw a geopolitical shift on Tuesday as Finland officially joined NATO. The Nordic country sought membership in the Western military bloc after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. As a result, Russia’s border with NATO has roughly doubled in size. Russia said it would take appropriate countermeasures to the NATO expansion, without providing details as to what that means.

Corporate news in focus: Barry Callebaut half-year figures (07:00 CET), UBS annual general meeting (10:00 CET).

Economic data in focus: US ADP Employment Report for March (14:15 CET).

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Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi,
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.