Dollar, shares gain after U.S. jobs data pleases investors
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar rose and global equity markets rallied on Friday after U.S. jobs data for May quashed investors' concerns that the Federal Reserve would soon start easing back on its stimulus program.
Still, investors are coming around to the notion that the Fed would begin to reduce its bond buying in support of the economy, perhaps as soon as September. The program has been instrumental in pushing stocks to successive highs since March.
Employment outside the farming sector in the world's leading economy rose by 175,000 last month, just above the median forecast in a Reuters poll, Labor Department data showed.
The unemployment rate ticked one-tenth of a percentage point higher to 7.6 percent, a relatively hopeful sign as it was driven by more workers entering the American labor force.
Stocks on Wall Street jumped more than 1 percent, following gains in Europe on the news, while the dollar rose against the euro and crude oil rebounded from early losses.
Gold fell around 2 percent, its biggest one-day drop in over three weeks.
"This kind of Goldilocks recovery is what people are looking for," said Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey.
MSCI's all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS of 45 country indexes rose 0.89 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 of leading European shares gained 1.33 percent to close at 1,194.26.
Market gauges of investor apprehension eased on the news. The Chicago Board Option Exchange's Volatility Index .VIX fell 9.62 percent, while in Europe the Euro STOXX 50 Volatility index .V2TX slid 10.1 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 207.50 points, or 1.38 percent, at 15,248.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rose 20.82 points, or 1.28 percent, at 1,643.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC added 45.16 points, or 1.32 percent, at 3,469.22.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.9 percent, while the S&P gained 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq 0.4 percent.
The dollar recovered its sharp losses from the previous session, beaten down by expectations of a downbeat figure before the release of payrolls report.
The euro fell to the day's lows against the dollar after the jobs report, touching a session low of $1.3193 and was last at $1.3219, down 0.2 percent.
Against the yen, the dollar gained about 0.55 percent to 97.47.
"This will calm some of the volatility in the markets, as people were very concerned about an aberrational number in particular being too strong and how that would aggressively move the Fed's disposition in terms of tapering," said Rick Rieder, co-head of Americas fixed income at BlackRock in New York.
But volatility is likely to pick up because of news in coming weeks about European growth, U.S. economic data and Japan's direction, he said. The Fed may begin to scale back its asset purchases moderately some time around September, in line with market expectations, Rieder said.
German Bund futures pared gains and U.S. government debt fell in choppy trade on the view the U.S. payrolls data was not enough to hasten a scaling back in Fed stimulus.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were down 28/32 in price to yield 2.179 percent.
Bund futures initially fell as low as 143.25 before recouping those losses in rocky trade, to settle down 6 ticks at 143.39.
U.S. unemployment: link.reuters.com/wam54t
U.S. labor reports: http:// link.reuters.com/fex44t
U.S. payrolls gap: link.reuters.com/kem54t
U.S. Comex gold futures for August delivery settled down $32.80 an ounce at $1,383.00.
Brent futures rose above $104 a barrel, supported by expectations of ongoing U.S. economic stimulus, putting the contract on course for its biggest weekly gain since late April.
Brent crude settled 95 cents higher at $104.56 a barrel, while U.S. oil rose $1.27 to settle at $96.03 a barrel.
"Oil is taking a cue from the equity market, which obviously liked the employment data," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
"The upside surprise versus expectation is signaling further economic improvement and energy demand."
(Editing by Dan Grebler and Chizu Nomiyama)