Stock markets power ahead on strong US jobs data

1 / 2

Traders chalked stock market gains up to strong US jobs data

Traders chalked stock market gains up to strong US jobs data (AFP Photo/Johannes EISELE)

Strong US jobs numbers gave global stock markets a shot in the arm on Friday, providing fresh evidence for the rude health of the world's top economy.

The Labor Department reported that the US economy added 266,000 net new jobs in November, vastly higher than market expectations of around 190,000, taking the unemployment rate to 3.5 percent.

In addition, the previous month's numbers were revised up.

"It's not only hard to find any weakness but hard to find anything that isn't strong," XTB analyst David Cheetham said of the jobs report which he called "all around stellar."

European equity markets promptly extended earlier gains, with some up well over one percent at the close, as the news of American economic strength outweighed concerns about a plunge in German October industrial output.

Major US indices gained about one percent, finishing higher for the third session in a row.

The dollar also powered ahead against the euro and pound.

- OPEC boosts oil prices -

Oil prices, meanwhile, surged after OPEC and its allies -- including Russia -- agreed on a production cut of 500,000 barrels per day in addition to their current agreement.

Oil prices had started the European day soft as doubts about OPEC's ability to hammer out a deal on a second day of deliberations crept in after a late session on Thursday provided no breakthrough.

But then news of the agreed cuts, which will be compounded by voluntary additional cuts including by OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, sent oil futures flying.

"Oil prices have reversed higher in the wake of the two-day OPEC+ meeting, which concluded with a pledge of deeper production cuts," said Charles Schwab analysts.

"Moreover, although there was some disappointment that the OPEC+ agreement looks to run only through March, Saudi Arabia's announcement of cuts beyond what was agreed to seems to be overshadowing it," they added.

On the trade front, stock markets appeared more optimistic towards China-US talks, with investors betting the two will eventually sign a partial deal, though they remain nervous as next week's deadline for fresh tariffs draws closer.

China on Friday offered its latest olive branch, saying it would waive tariffs on "some" imports of key US soybean and pork imports.

White House economic aide Larry Kudlow told CNBC an agreement "is still close" and that the two sides talk almost daily.

Among individual companies, Uber Technologies dropped 2.8 percent as it disclosed that it had tallied nearly 6,000 sexual assaults in the United States over the past couple of years, including more than 450 cases of rape.

The report comes as the company faces complaints that it is doing too little to protect passengers. Some analysts said the release of the report was constructive in that it showed the company was trying to tackle the problem.

Goldman Sachs gained 3.4 percent following a Bloomberg report that it could end up paying less than $2 billion to resolve a US criminal probe in its role in the scandal over 1MDB, a corruption-plagued Malaysian fund. The figure is below some estimates.

- Key figures around 2130 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 1.2 percent at 28,015.06 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.9 percent at 3,145.91 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.0 percent at 8,656.53 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.4 percent at 7,239.66 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.9 percent at 13,166.58 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.2 percent at 5,871.91 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.2 percent at 3,692.34 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 23,354.40 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.1 percent at 26,498.37 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 2,912.01 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1058 from $1.1104 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3137 from $1.3157

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.17 pence from 84.40 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.56 yen from 108.76 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.6 percent at $64.39 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.3 percent at $59.20 per barrel

burs-jmb/dg