NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Friday as investors warmed to data showing U.S. wage growth in April despite weaker-than-expected jobs growth, while the wages data also pushed longer-dated Treasury yields higher.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 160,000 jobs last month, far below the 202,000 economists polled by Reuters had forecast on average and the fewest jobs added in seven months. The number cast doubts on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by the end of the year.
Average hourly earnings, however, rose 0.3 percent in April after a weak reading for March.
U.S. interest rates futures suggested traders see a 10-percent chance of the Fed raising rates at its June 14-15 meeting, down from 14 percent on Thursday, Reuters data showed.
U.S. shares edged up on the day but posted losses for the week, while European shares posted their biggest weekly percentage decline since early February. Hedge fund Man Group was among the worst performers in Europe, down 8.6 percent after Citigroup cut its rating on the stock to “sell” from “buy.”
Longer-dated Treasury yields rose on signs of wage growth, with 30-year yields last at 2.622 percent after dropping to a more than two-week low of 2.568 percent.
“The market was moving into oversold territory and poised for a bounce,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. “It’s the market in essence looking at the report, and looking at the wage growth in the report, which suggests that the foundation for consumer spending remains intact.”
MSCI’s all-country world equity index was down 0.08 points or 0.02 percent at 395.34, and posted its biggest weekly percentage decline since early February.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 79.79 points, or 0.45 percent, to 17,740.5, the S&P 500 gained 6.55 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,057.18 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.06 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,736.16.
Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index ended down 0.27 percent at 1,303.3. [nL5N1833P5]
U.S. two-year Treasury note yields briefly fell to their lowest levels in 12 weeks, at 0.686 percent, after the jobs report discouraged some views of a June Fed rate hike.
Oil prices edged up on Friday, supported by an early dip in the dollar and a wildfire that has shrunk Canadian oil sands crude output by a third. But Brent still ended with its sharpest weekly drop in four months as investors cashed out of April’s big rally.
U.S. crude settled up 34 cents, or 0.77 percent, at $44.66 a barrel. Brent crude settled up 36 cents, or 0.80 percent, at $45.37 a barrel.
The dollar rose against a basket of currencies as remarks on possible rate hikes in 2016 from New York Fed President William Dudley pared some bets on a weaker greenback.[nL2N1831L2]
“It’s more hawkish than market expectations. Futures are barely pricing in one hike,” Omer Esiner, chief market strategist at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington, on Dudley’s remarks.
U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled up 1.7 percent at $1,294 an ounce.
Additional reporting by Dion Rabouin and Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski
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