There was no respite on Friday for investors still reeling from the disappointment of the European Central Bank’s stimulus package the day before, as they geared up for the latest U.S. employment data and a key OPEC meeting of oil producers.
The prospect of less ECB stimulus than markets had discounted pushed stocks deeper into the red, while the euro snapped back after soaring 3 percent on Thursday in its biggest one-day rally since March 2009 and third largest in its history.
Bonds found their footing after Thursday’s tumble triggered the biggest rise in short-dated German yields for almost five years and the U.S. yield curve steepened the most since July.
“Investors paid the price of an ECB President (Mario Draghi) who over-promised in his recent rhetoric and under-delivered,” said Michael Hewson, chief analyst at CMC Markets in London.
“This brings us to today’s U.S. employment report for November. We would need a number below 100,000 for the market to wobble in its belief in a Fed move this month,” he said.
In early trade Europe’s index of 300 leading shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,456 points .FTEU3, extending Thursday’s 3.3 percent slide. That was its biggest fall since Aug. 24.
Earlier in Asia MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 tumbled 2.2 percent, down 1.9 percent for the week, the most in three months.
U.S. futures pointed to a rise of around a third of one percent at the open, rebounding from Thursday’s 1.4 percent slide, its biggest fall since the end of September.
The ECB cut its deposit rate by 0.10 percentage point to -0.30 percent on Thursday, smaller than a 0.15 to 0.20 percentage point cut many traders had expected.
The central bank did not increase the amount of government bonds it buys, while the six-month extension of the program was perceived as a bare minimum, given that traders had looked for an extension of one year or even having it made an open-ended plan.
The package sent traders scrambling to unwind short euro positions, which they had built since late October when Draghi said there would be another round of stimulus measures.
On Friday the euro EUR= was trading at $1.0885, a cent down from its post-ECB peak just under $1.10. The dollar index against a basket of currencies, which hit a 13-year high of 100.51 before the ECB drama, bounced back to 98.27.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaking before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee on Thursday, said the United States may be “close to the point at which we should be raising” rates.
She also said the U.S. economy needs to add fewer than 100,000 jobs a month to cover new entrants to the workforce, perhaps setting an implicit floor for jobs growth that policymakers want to see.
That would be a fairly low bar given that economists’ median forecast was 200,000, when even the most conservative forecast in a Reuters poll of more than 100 economists was 150,000.
“While markets would probably respond very negatively to a number of around 100,000, I don’t think even this would be enough to deter Fed officials, so the bar really is very low,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.
Even after the ECB surprise and some weak U.S. data lately – notably the manufacturing sector’s biggest contraction since 2009 – traders are still pricing in about a 75 percent chance of a rate hike this month and possibly two more next year.
Bonds stabilized after Thursday’s surge. The two-year German yield was steady at -0.30 percent EUR= and the U.S. 10-year yield US10YT=RR eased back a couple of basis points to 2.287 percent.
Crude oil prices extended Thursday’s 3 percent rise as OPEC leaders gathered in Vienna. Saudi Arabia has told other members it has no intention of floating a proposal for curbing output, according to sources.
Brent crude futures climbed to $43.97 per barrel LCOc1, having bounced back from Wednesday’s three-month low of $42.43, while U.S. light crude rose two thirds of one percent to $41.38 a barrel CLc1.
Metals were mixed, with gold easing back to $1,062.20 an ounce XAU=, near the near six-year low of $1,045.80 struck shortly after the ECB on Thursday. Still, it was on course to post its first weekly gain in seven weeks.
The expected rise in U.S. rates and slowing Chinese demand failed to dent copper, which looked like snapping a seven-week losing streak. Three-month London copper CMCU3 last traded at $4,610 a tonne, up 1.2 percent on the day and recovering from the six-year low seen on Nov. 23.
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Gareth Jones; To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click here; for the MacroScope Blog click on blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click on blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub)