Sun, Mar 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

US stocks rally after strong jobs report


Wall Street stocks surged on Friday, with the NASDAQ ending at a record after a strong US jobs report and the announcement of a summit between the US and North Korea.

However, uncertainty surrounding US President Trump’s tariffs plans and fears of a trade war kept a lid on gains in other markets, dealers said.

The agreement by Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to hold talks “boosted risk sentiment ... encouraging investors to buy into riskier assets such as shares,” City Index senior market analyst Fiona Cincotta said.

The tech-rich NASDAQ Composite Index on Friday jumped 132.86 points, or 1.8 percent, to 7,560.81, an increase of 4.2 percent from 7,257.87 points on March 2 and besting the prior record in late January by 55 points.

The gains were similar for both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, with analysts pointing to US Department of Labor data that showed US employers last month added 313,000 jobs, far greater than analyst expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday closed up 440.53 points, or 1.8 percent, to 25,335.74, rising 3.3 percent from a close of 24,538.06 a week earlier.

The S&P 500 on Friday rose 47.60 points, or 1.7 percent, to close at 2,786.57, a jump of 3.5 percent from a close of 2,691.25 on March 2.

The closely watched monthly US payrolls report also revealed moderating wage growth compared with the January report, mitigating concerns the US Federal Reserve will speed its pace of interest rate hikes.

Meanwhile, US officials vowed there would be no let-up on pressure on North Korea ahead of the summit on its nuclear program.

South Korea said the two leaders would hold an unprecedented summit by the end of May, raising hopes they can broker an agreement on Pyongyang’s nuclear program that has fueled tensions on the Korean Peninsula

Seoul’s KOSPI on Friday rose 26.37 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,459.45, rising 2.4 percent from a close of 2,402.16 a week earlier.

Hopes that the two could reach some sort of agreement also led to a plunge in the yen, which is considered a go-to safe currency in times of volatility and uncertainty.

The US dollar rose from ¥106.24 to ¥106.77. The euro rose from US$1.2306 to US$1.2313.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 on Friday closed up 101.13 points, or 0.5 percent, at 21,469.20, rising 1.4 percent from 21,181.64 on March 2.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 on Friday rose 20.31 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,274.40, an increase of 2.7 percent from 5,136.58 a week earlier.

Germany’s DAX on Friday fell 8.89 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 12,346.68, but registered weekly growth of 3.6 percent from 11,913.71 on March 2.

London’s FTSE 100 on Friday rose 21.27 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,224.51, jumping 2.2 percent from 7,069.90 a week earlier.

The pan-European STOXX 600 on Friday added 1.62 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 378.24, a jump of 3.1 percent from 367.04 on March 2.

Energy companies climbed as benchmark US crude added US$1.92, or 3 percent, to US$62.04 per barrel in New York, while Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose US$1.88, or 3 percent, to US$65.49 a barrel in London.

Elsewhere, wholesale gasoline added US$0.04 to US$1.90 per gallon and heating oil rose US$0.03 to US$1.89 per gallon, while natural gas lost US$0.04 to US$2.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose US$2.30 to US$1,324 per ounce, while silver added US$0.11 to US$16.61 per ounce and copper jumped US$0.06, or 1.9 percent, to US$3.14 per pound.

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