Global stock market indexes were set for modest gains on Thursday after a stock market rebound in China relieved one source of stress and an in-line report on U.S. jobless claims relieved another.
U.S. stock index futures were up with about 40 minutes before markets open, suggesting that stocks will rise at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 36 points. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were up 6 points.
The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims last week fell 4,000 from the previous week, to 570,000, after revisions are taken into account. Although economists had been expecting slightly lower claims, investors apparently welcomed the results because they were in line with expectations.
Then again, the report is also sandwiched between two more newsworthy reports on the labour situation. It arrived a day after Wednesday's disappointing ADP employment report on private-sector job losses. And it came a day before the much-anticipated official government report on employment, due out on Friday.
"On balance, to the degree that tomorrow brings the August nonfarm payrolls report, today's claims release is likely not to get too much attention from the market," said Ian Pollick, economics strategist at TD Securities, in a note.
In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent and Germany's DAX index was up 0.4 per cent in afternoon trading.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.6 per cent in overnight trading, but China's Shanghai stock exchange composite index surged 4.8 per cent, its biggest jump in six months according to Bloomberg News.
In Canada, Canadian Western Bank followed the quarterly reporting by the Big Banks last week, with some upbeat results: Net income rose 9.1 per cent, to $28.7-million or 38 cents a share.