May 03, 2013, 08.40 AM IST
The US markets finished near session highs on Thrusday, propelling the S&P 500 to a fresh intraday high, as Wall Street cheered a better-than-expected jobless claims report and after the European central bank cut its key interest rate. The CBOE volatility index slid below 14.
On the economic data front, weekly jobless claims dropped to its lowest rate since January 2008 last week. The four-week average declined 16,000 to 342,250. Also the US trade deficit declined more than expected in March as imports posted their biggest decline since 2009.
In key data to watch out for in the US today, non-farm payrolls are expected to come in higher at 153,000. Meanwhile unemployment rate is seen remaining unchanged at 7.6%. Factory orders may see a 2.8 % contraction for the month of March. Also watch out for data from the ism non-mfg index.
European markets pared losses to close in the green.
The European central bank on Thursday took decisive steps to spur the eurozone economy. The ECB cut its main refinancing rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 0.5 percent.
The marginal lending facility rate, the cost at which banks borrow from it, has been cut to 1 percent from 1.5 percent. The ECB decided to leave its deposit rate, the rate it charges banks to leave cash with it, at zero percent.
In the currency space, the euro slipped marginally, but still above 1.30 to the dollar. The dollar index is above 82.20 levels
In commodities, Brent crude rallied to USD 102 per barrel on ECB's policy boost.
From the precious metals space, gold hovered around USD 1467 an ounce.
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