German 10-year government bond yields, the benchmark for euro zone borrowing costs, hit their lowest in a month while U.S. 10-year Treasury yields touched their lowest since November. Oil prices soared.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was slightly lower. The euro was up 0.1 percent at $1.0648 and sterling was flat at $1.2477.
MSCI’s main index of Asia-Pacific stocks, excluding Japan, is down 0.4 percent, though Tokyo shares closed up 0.4 percent.
Other than the fallout from Syria, U.S. President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will have plenty to talk about at their summit and the monthly U.S. jobs report will, as ever be closely watched. Economists polled by Reuters expect 180,000 jobs were added last month after 235,000 in February.
For good measure, the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers meets where, once again, Greece is the word.
In Greece, workers are due to protest against the government’s austerity reform programme. While it may be too early for a deal today, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday he was upbeat one could be reached soon.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney speaks at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in London's Canary Wharf today. Carney is expected to speak about Brexit and what it means for the UK's banking industry before taking questions from an audience of financial professionals and journalists.
Elsewhere in company news and potential stock movers: Vivendi ends 15-year U.S. lawsuit over big merger, to pay $26.4 million; Airbus reports pickup in orders for current A320 amid delays; Adidas to mass-produce 3D-printed shoe with Silicon Valley start-up; EDF reprieves Fessenheim nuclear plant, in setback to government; Zara founder shields Inditex stake to maintain family control; Linde board equally split on Praxair merger – source.
In emerging markets, the Czech National Bank, which lifted its long-standing cap on the crown versus the euro on Thursday has released minutes of its March 30 meeting saying why. The economy allowed for it, essentially.
Editing by Jeremy Gaunt