Solid jobs report lifts US stocks, dollar

New York

Wall Street stocks rallied and the dollar advanced Friday following a better-than-expected US jobs report for June, while equities elsewhere were mixed as a tense G20 summit got underway.
The US economy added 222,000 jobs last month, government data showed, far above the 173,000 expected by analysts.
But not all of the details were great: wage growth remained weak and high-paying manufacturing jobs were flat.
Still, analysts were generally upbeat.
“We can nit pick about the details, which weren’t nearly as great as the headline number, but there is no escaping the fact that employer complaints notwithstanding, firms are hiring,” economist Joel Naroff said.
The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent, with technology giants such as Microsoft and Facebook jumping more than one percent.
The dollar was another winner, progressing against the euro and other major currencies following the report, which was seen as good enough to keep the Federal Reserve on track to continue to raise interest rates. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will appear next week in a twice-annual testimony to Congress.
“The 222,000 increase in non-farm payrolls in June and the upward revision to jobs in May is enough for Yellen to maintain her credibility and justify her positive labor market assessment,” said BK Asset Management’s Kathy Lien.
“Yellen will put on a brave face and focus on the improvements in the US economy, stressing the need for policy normalization at Wednesday’s testimony.”
Equity markets in London and Frankfurt rose modestly, while Paris and Tokyo dipped as a Group of 20 summit opened against a backdrop of street protests in Hamburg.
The gathering comes as global leaders debate how to manage progress by North Korea in developing nuclear weapons technology.
Other points of tension include US trade policy and climate change following threats by President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on steel imports and the new president’s decision to leave the Paris climate accord.
Among other markets, oil prices fell sharply on worries about rising US oil supply, with new data showing the American rig count higher.
The British pound fell against the dollar following some poorly-received UK economic data, including a drop in house prices, a dip in industrial output and widening of Britain’s trade deficit.—AFP

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