LONDON (AP) — Stock markets rose on Friday after a U.S. jobs report suggested the Federal Reserve is likely to keep its stimulus program going for now.
The Labor Department said the world's largest economy added 175,000 jobs, slightly better than the expected 165,000 increase. However, the previous months' jobs gains were revised down.
The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent, but only because more people were looking for a job, which is a good sign.
On balance, the report suggests the U.S. economy is still recovering, but not so strongly that the Fed might start reining in its monetary stimulus in the next few months. The program, which increases the amount of money in the U.S. financial system, has helped drive stock markets higher this year.
"What is still missing is the confirmation that the improvement (in the labor market) is sustained," said Harm Bandholz, the chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Research.
Britain's FTSE 100 closed Friday up 1.2 percent at 6,411.99 while Germany's DAX rose 1.9 percent to 8,254.68. France's CAC-40 was 1.5 percent higher at 3,872.59.
Wall Street also rose on the news, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 1.15 percent to 15,212.94 and the broader S&P 500 up 1.01 percent to 1,638.93.
Earlier, in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.2 percent to close at 12,877.53 after the yen climbed against the dollar. That pummeled Japan's exporters, which generally welcome a weaker currency to make products more competitive overseas.
Japan's stock market has in recent months been beholden to the strength of the yen, which has become hugely volatile as investors estimated the likely impact of the country's aggressive new policy to get the economy growing again.
The yen on Friday strengthened against the dollar, which was 0.25 percent lower at 97.48 yen. The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.3221.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.2 percent to 21,571.01. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.8 percent to 1,923.85. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.9 percent to 4,737.70.
In commodity markets, the benchmark oil contract for July delivery was up $1.38 cents to $96.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.02 on Thursday.
Pamela Sampson contributed from Bangkok.
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Stock markets