Economic data released earlier Friday pointed to a pickup in the Chinese service sector, with the Caixin Services Purchasing Managers Index coming in at 58.4 in June, the highest reading in two months.
With the U.S. recording on Thursday the addition of 4.8 million jobs in June, above the average forecast of 3 million, there are signs that the two largest economies in the world may be spluttering back into life.
Yet the danger surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak remains, particularly in America which recorded over 50,000 new cases Thursday, for the second day in a row. The U.S. accounts for around a quarter of the 10.8 million coronavirus cases recorded worldwide.
Turning back to Europe, volumes are likely to be limited Friday with the U.S. enjoying a three-day weekend to celebrate Independence Day. European stock markets opened just higher on positive signs of a global economic recovery.
The USD/JPY pair was last seen at 107.49 while the GBP/USD pair was up at 1.2476. The EUR/USD traded at 1.1236, almost flat on the day.
Oil prices eased from the highs seen earlier on Friday, as the continued growth of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. given its importance as the world’s largest oil consumer, has prompted worries that the recovery in demand of fuel could stall as states reimpose travel restrictions. U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% lower at $40.27 a barrel. The international benchmark Brent contract fell 1% to $42.72. Elsewhere, spot gold remained flat near $1,773/oz.
Economic data will centre around the final PMI services indices for Europe and the UK, coming at 08:00 GMT and 08:30 GMT respectively. Given that the US markets will remain closed in observance of Independence Day, thin liquidity conditions might lead to a subdued trading action on the last day of the week.