June 22, 2018
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Strong US jobs report sparks rally in stocks, dollar

By Richard Hubbard, Reuters

U.S. stock futures turned higher while the dollar and oil prices jumped on Friday after a surprisingly strong American jobs report for November pointed to gathering momentum in the economy, reducing the need for more monetary stimulus.

U.S. nonfarm employment increased by 146,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate dipped to 7.7 percent, the Labor Department said.

U.S. stock index futures recovered from earlier losses after the data to point to a stronger start on Wall Street, while the benchmark Treasury 10-year note yield spiked to 1.64 percent, up from 1.58 percent before the numbers.

U.S. crude oil futures jumped 34 cents to $86.60 a barrel, and Brent crude extended its gains to be up 50 cents at $107.52.

Analysts had expected about 93,000 extra jobs in November, compared with October’s gain of 171,000, as superstorm Sandy took its toll on the figures. The jobless rate was expected to remain at 7.9 percent.

“The real question though is whether this changes the Fed’s attitude toward more stimulus. It doesn’t remove the need for stimulus but might convince the Fed to opt for a smaller program,” said BK Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien.

Many economists think the U.S. central bank will opt to further ease policy at its next meeting scheduled for Dec. 11-12 in a bid to keep bringing down unemployment.

The dollar rallied against the euro and yen after the data, gaining 0.6 percent on the single currency to be at $1.2884. It rallied to 82.82 yen, matching a near eight-month high set on Nov. 22.

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