Markets across the globe have been on edge over recent sessions as concerns over a potential trade war between China and the U.S. brew. On Wednesday, China announced fresh tariffs on 106 U.S. products, including cars, whiskey and soybeans — less than 24 hours after the U.S. administration issued a list of Chinese imports that it would target.
Stocks bounced back however as the U.S. administration tried to play down concerns over a trade war between the two major consumer nations. Consequently, U.S. government debt yields rose modestly Wednesday as fears over a growing trade war subsided.
The number of Americans on jobless rolls fell to the lowest level since 1973 last week, according to a report from the Labor Department.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 24,000 to an adjusted 242,000 for the week ended March 31; the labor market is considered near or at full employment, with the jobless rate at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.
The claims data has no impact on the March employment report, scheduled for release on Friday. According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 193,000 jobs in March.
Looking to central banks, the second and final day of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's annual risk conference will take place, where Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is due to deliver remarks. In Florida, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is scheduled to appear at the Financial Literacy Day 2018 in Sarasota.
Stock markets meantime were posting solid gains during Thursday's session, both in U.S. premarket trade and overseas.