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US jobs report sends global stocks higher

Aug 06 2017 15:26

New York - Rosy US jobs numbers sent Wall Street higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising to an eighth straight record finish.

The beleaguered US dollar also got a shot in the arm from the strong July employment report, which showed the world's largest economy adding north of 200,000 new positions for the second straight month.

Across the Atlantic, European equities also pushed higher amid unequivocal signs of American economic strength.

In New York, the Dow rose 0.3%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each gained 0.2%.

But Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments, told AFP the jobs numbers were a "double-edged sword."

"On the one hand, it is good to see the economy growing, jobs coming in," he said. "At the same time, it is a hawkish data point for the Fed."

The strong job creation and slowly rising wages could spur the Fed to raise the cost of borrowing a third time this year to keep a tight rein on inflation.

But a rate increase would boost bank profits, and that fueled banking shares. Goldman Sachs jumped 2.6%, and JP Morgan Chase added 1.3%, leading the Dow higher.

Meanwhile, the dollar jumped 0.8% against a basket of other major currencies, rising off a 15-month low.

European markets higher

"Strong wage growth is key takeaway today," ING Economics said, but one strong jobs report may not be enough to sway skeptical investors trying to second-guess the US central bank.

The data also helped European equities extend early tentative gains ahead of the weekend, with Frankfurt and Paris seeing increases of better than one percent and London adding 0.5%.

The newfound dollar strength took the pressure off the euro whose recent rise has been threatening to undermine the competitiveness of eurozone exporters. But fundamentals are still in favor of the European single currency, many analysts say.

"The eurozone is today seen by many as a zone of stability," Philippe Waechter, an economist at Natixis, told AFP.

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