Global stocks mostly rise after strong US jobs data


Global stocks mostly rose Friday following strong US jobs data, though Wall Street’s rally showed signs of fatigue after the Dow finished its best January in 30 years.

US employers added 304,000 net new positions last month — the highest in nearly a year and almost double what economists had predicted — while growth in worker pay held steady above inflation, according to the government jobs report.

However, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.0 percent, the highest in seven months, as the labor force expanded and as the US government was partially shut for five weeks, most of which fell in January.

James Knightley, chief international economist at Dutch bank ING, said the report “suggests that the US economy hasn’t been adversely impacted by the government shutdown in any meaningful way.”

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After a choppy session, the Dow and S&P 500 finished with small gains, while the Nasdaq retreated modestly.

Analysts said the market was primed for a pause after a torrid run in January fueled by dovish Federal Reserve statements and optimism over US-China trade talks.

“The indexes are basically flat and consolidating some of the recent gains,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

In Europe, London and Paris ended the day with solid gains, while Frankfurt finished essentially flat, penalized by shares in fintech Wirecard which plunged by a quarter.

China-US trade talks this week ended with no deal but with both sides sounding notes of optimism and setting up more high-level meetings later this month, temporarily soothing concerns of an all-out trade war.

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The Shanghai stock market jumped Friday to close up 1.3 percent as optimism over the negotiations offset disappointing Chinese manufacturing data.

Oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron both jumped more than three percent after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits. Exxon Mobil raised its 2019 capital budget, while Chevron announced a dividend increase as well as a new $25 billion share repurchase program.

But Amazon fell 5.4 percent on disappointment over the online retailer’s profit forecast. The company reported a 63 percent jump in fourth-quarter profits to $3 billion.

– Key figures around 2200 GMT –
New York – Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 25,063.89 (close)

New York – S&P 500: UP 0.1 percent at 2,706.53 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,263.87 (close)

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London – FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,020.22 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 11,180.22 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 5,019.26 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 3,171.12 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 20,788.39 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: FLAT at 27,930.74 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.3 percent at 2,618.23 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1459 from $1.1448 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3084 from $1.3109

Dollar/yen: UP at 109.51 yen from 108.89

Oil – Brent Crude: UP $1.91 at $62.75 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.47 at $55.26 per barrel

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