Stocks, oil rally on U.S. jobs data, Korea news

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets across the globe rose the most in two weeks on Friday after U.S. job growth posted a sharp, unexpected increase, while a planned meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un gave crude oil a further boost.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The yen fell broadly after the Bank of Japan stuck to its dovish policy stance and as Kim’s pledge to refrain from further nuclear or missile tests during the proposed talks buoyed investor sentiment.

But the dollar was otherwise little changed despite the U.S. economy having added the largest number of jobs in more than 1-1/2 years in February, as slowing wage gains indicated only a gradual increase in inflation this year.

Wall Street led global equity gains as the U.S. labor data landed in a sweet spot for stock investors.

“You got sort of a Goldilocks report with stronger employment coupled with modest wage growth, but not enough that it forces the (Federal Reserve) to act more rapidly than they otherwise would,” said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 440.53 points, or 1.77 percent, to 25,335.74, the S&P 500 gained 47.6 points, or 1.74 percent, to 2,786.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 132.86 points, or 1.79 percent, to 7,560.81.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 0.41 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.12 percent, the most since Feb. 23.

Emerging market stocks rose 1.06 percent. Overnight, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.95 percent higher, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.47 percent.

Crude prices rose alongside Wall Street, continuing their moves in tandem with the S&P 500. The 50-day correlation between WTI crude futures and the S&P has averaged over 0.8 so far this year.

The jobs report “speaks to strong, underlying economic conditions, and growth, which includes increased energy demand,” said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in New York.

U.S. crude rose 3.28 percent to $62.09 per barrel and Brent was last at $65.55, up 3.05 percent on the day.


The yen fell sharply versus the U.S. dollar after the Bank of Japan stuck to its dovish policy stance and as Kim’s denuclearization pledge boosted risk assets.

Still, the greenback slipped against a basket of currencies as the slow U.S. wage gains supported a view that the Federal Reserve would not quicken its pace of raising interest rates.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.56 percent versus the greenback at 106.83 per dollar. The dollar index fell 0.06 percent.

The euro was down 0.04 percent to $1.2305 while sterling was last trading at $1.3847, up 0.27 percent on the day.

The Mexican peso gained 0.14 percent versus the U.S. dollar at 18.63. The Canadian dollar rose 0.59 percent versus the greenback at 1.28 per dollar.

U.S. Treasury yields advanced across the board after the strong jobs data.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 8/32 in price to yield 2.8938 percent, from 2.866 percent late on Thursday.

The 30-year bond last fell 16/32 in price to yield 3.1589 percent, from 3.132 percent late on Thursday.

“The headline (payrolls) print is sort of a shockingly strong number, (and) the guts of the report are as good,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

Spot gold added 0.1 percent to $1,322.91 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.17 percent to $1,323.90 an ounce.

Copper rose 1.82 percent to $6,957.50 a tonne.

Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Richard Leong and Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler