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Dollar and shares rally after US jobs report

FTSE breaks out of its tight holding pattern as US employment grows much more strongly than expected.

Dollar and shares rally after US jobs report

(UPDATE) European stock markets were awoken from their slumber by a better-than-expected report on the US jobs market, which put paid to earlier minor share price declines.

The FTSE 100 leapt to life, climbing 0.3% to 5,917, having been stuck trading just a few points below the key 5,900 mark for most of the morning.

US stock market futures were also pointing upwards after the US labour report showed employment, or non-farm payrolls, had grown by 146,000 in November, much better than the expectation of 85,000 among economists.

The unemployment rate also fell from 7.9% to 7.7%.

The Labour department, which publishes the figures, said that Hurricane Sandy did not 'substantively' impact on the jobs markets in November.

‘Whether today’s relative strength in the labour market can continue is another question,’ commented James Knightley, an economist at ING Bank, ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting, and amid ongoing negotiations to avert a ‘fiscal cliff’.

The dollar gained, rising 0.4% to 80.6 as measured against a basket of currencies. The euro conversely fell 0.5% to $1.2898, continuing a poor week for the single currency amid renewed concerns about the strength of the eurozone. A report published this morning showed that German industrial production fell by 2.6% in October.

In the UK, where the pound was trading down 0.2% at $1,6010, the news on manufacturing was similarly grim with a 1.2% fall in output in October.

Investors wary ahead of major economic reports (08:45)

Investors were biding their time on Friday morning ahead of a slew of reports on the state of the world’s two biggest economies which are due over the next two days.

The FTSE 100 continued this week’s lackadaisical trading, moving just 3 points to 5898. Other major European markets were equally flat.

The euro made a shift lower though, down 0.3% to $1.2929, continuing to suffer after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi yesterday emphasized the weakness of the eurozone economy.

Investors are waiting for this month’s US labour report this afternoon, with the non-farm payrolls number one of the most important gauges of US economic health.

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2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Geoff Downs

Dec 07, 2012 at 10:21

Why would investors be cautious? The markets rise on good and bad news. A few of us are trying to figure this out.

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joe stalin

Dec 07, 2012 at 14:27

Investors have been nervous for years as there is always something new to worry about meanwhile stocks keep on climbing. Can't be nice feeling swimming after the boat that has left the pier. Still there is always the financial media to cheer you up and goad you into believing that you are doing the right thing to be cautious. Judging from the jump in US futures a few shorts were caught swimming without trunks when the tide raced out

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