Oil recovered from a heavy fall while European stocks and bonds were in the red on Thursday, as markets waited to see if ECB meeting minutes would give clues on the bank’s next moves.
The Federal Reserve gave mixed signals on Wednesday.
Market were sandwiched between what had been the largely inconclusive Fed minutes and Friday’s U.S. jobs data and the start of a G20 summit that has risen in importance following this week’s long-range missile test by North Korea.
The euro and the dollar were flat against each other but South Africa’s rand, Turkish lira and Russian rouble buckled again after a wave of emerging market selling on Wednesday.
Bond yields, which drive global borrowing costs, were pushing higher again with benchmark U.S. Treasuries up for the sixth day in the last seven at just over 2.34 percent.
European yields and southern euro zone ones in particular were up too as investors waited to see whether the ECB would signal it is closer towards unwinding extraordinary stimulus after the Fed’s minutes had shown it was still split.
“They want the process to look like paint drying,” Charles Schwab UK managing director Kully Samra said of the Fed’s stimulus reduction. “The S&P 500 is up 9 percent this year, so we are discouraging our clients to do anything dramatic.”
Brent oil was at $48.35 a barrel in early European trading as it recovered 1 percent of the 4 percent lost on Wednesday after rising OPEC exports had raised fresh questions about the group’s plans to cut back supply.
Gold was off 0.2 percent at $1,224.24 per ounce though it was up from an eight-week low of $1,217.14 it had hit the previous day.
The dollar meanwhile was stalled at 113.32 Japanese yen as it consolidated a near 1 percent gain this week and was also hovering at $1.13495 per euro.
Traders were wary of making any sudden moves before a flurry of U.S. data later, which includes ADP employment, ISM non-manufacturing PMI and the initial jobless claims report, all of which are appetizers ahead of Friday’s Payrolls numbers.
Overnight in Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended down 0.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.5 percent as a stronger yen depressed the outlook for export earnings.
Trading in Asia has been buffeted this week by tensions on the Korean peninsula after North Korea fired a missile, which U.S. officials concluded was an intercontinental ballistic missile, into Japanese waters.
In Europe, earnings were back in focus. The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.2 percent ahead of the ECB’s minutes. Euro zone blue chips and Britain’s FTSE 100 were down a similar amount.
(Additional reporting by Nichola Saminather in Singapore)