Global stocks experienced further downside pressure throughout the day as continued geopolitical tensions kept European benchmark indices in negative territory throughout much of the session. Geopolitical tensions remained at the forefront of investors’ minds throughout the second half of the week as EU imposed sanctions were joined by wider US sanctions on Russia. However, investors were quick to take advantage of buying opportunities in the euro after the single currency traded below 1.34 for the first time since November 2013 yesterday as it rallied 0.3% higher against the dollar, reaching as high as 1.3445 throughout the day.
Investors were eagerly anticipating today’s jobs report as the data heavy session kicked off with the release of non-farm payrolls. The data indicated hiring activity remained slow with employers adding only 209K additional jobs throughout July, against expectations of 230K. The July number was significantly below the previous months revised figure of 298K additional non-farm pay-rolls and accordingly unemployment increased from 6.1% to 6.2%. The dollar index faced some selling pressure on the slower growth outlook as early intraday gains above 81.50 were quickly exhausted and the currency lost ground against its major peers. DXY pulled back below 81.20 before settling just under 81.30 towards the end of the European session.