* Investors focus on further dip in U.S. unemployment rate
* Emerging market battered currencies bounce back
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Feb 7 Stocks, oil and some base metals
rallied on Friday as data showed the U.S. unemployment rate
falling to its lowest level since 2008, eclipsing
softer-than-expected monthly payrolls.
Data showed U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than
expected last month - non-farm payrolls rose by 113,000, well
below the consensus of 185,000 - although the unemployment rate
hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent.
Stocks initially reacted negatively to the data, before
bouncing back, with Europe's benchmark FTSEurofirst 300
rallying 0.8 percent and U.S. stock index futures
up 0.6-0.7 percent.
"The headline payroll figure is quite soft, probably due to
the bad weather last month, but the trend in the jobless rate is
intact, and that's a pretty good indication that the U.S.
economy is back on track. So overall it's positive for the
market," said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales
trading, at Global Equities, in Paris.
The MSCI All-Country World index was up 0.5
percent, further recovering from a 6 percent slide that had
started in late January, the equity market's steepest pull-back
in seven months.
Stock markets worldwide had recently been knocked lower by
tepid U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data as well as a rout in
emerging currencies, fuelled in part by the start of the U.S.
Federal Reserve's stimulus withdrawal.
London copper was up 0.2 percent on Friday, set to
post its largest weekly rise this year, while Brent crude
was up 36 cents at $107.56 a barrel, heading for its
second weekly gain in three.
The dollar dipped after the weaker-than-expected employment
data drove market interest rates lower.
"The headline number clearly surprised to the downside,"
said Richard Cochinos, currency strategist at Citi in New York.
"It certainly is a positive for bonds and yields are lower
and that's a negative for the dollar."
Emerging market equities regained ground, with the MSCI
Emerging Market index up 0.9 percent, while battered
currencies such as the Turkish lira and the South African
rand were trading off recent lows.
The relative calm may not last, however, as data shows
investors continued to repatriate funds from emerging markets
this week. Outflows so far this year have now exceeded those for
all of 2013.