Solid US jobs figures leave downbeat markets unmoved


LONDON (AP) – Solid U.S. jobs data on Friday did little to improve the mood in global stock markets as investors continued to worry about rising U.S. bond yields.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 1.4 percent at 12,825 while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.3 percent to 7,465. France’s CAC 40 was 1.2 percent lower at 5,389. U.S. stocks were poised for a lower opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.6 percent.

JOBS DATA: U.S. employers added a robust 200,000 jobs in January, slightly above market expectations for a 185,000 increase. Meanwhile, wages rose at the fastest pace in more than eight years, suggesting employers are competing more fiercely for workers. The figures point to an economy on strong footing even in its ninth year of expansion, fueled by global economic growth and healthy consumer spending at home.

FED IMPLICATIONS: The pickup in hourly wages, along with a recent uptick in inflation, may make it more likely the Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates more quickly in the coming months. The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasury notes, the benchmark for interest rates, has risen swiftly, stoking investor concerns that higher rates could weigh on company earnings and equity prices. This week yields hovered at their highest level since April 2014, fueled by the prospect of stronger economic growth in the U.S. and abroad.

ANALYST TAKE: “A 3 percent 10-year Treasury yield is a footstep away,” said Neil MacKinnon, chief macro economist at VTB Capita. “The return of wage inflation will be central now.”

DEUTSCHE DOWN: Shares in Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, fell sharply after full-year results showed it still struggling to turn solid profits after years of wrenching restructuring and legal trouble. Its share price was 5.3 percent lower at 13.99 euros.

SONY BOSS: The Japanese electronics and entertainment company tapped its chief financial officer to take over as president and CEO, taking over from Kazuo Hirai, who is stepping down after orchestrating a turnaround.

ASIAN SCORECARD: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 sank 0.9 percent to close at 23,274.53 and South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.7 percent to 2,525.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.1 percent to 32,601.78 but the Shanghai Composite index recouped early losses in the final hour to close 0.4 percent higher at 3,462.08.

ENERGY: Oil futures extended gains, with benchmark U.S. crude climbing 15 cents to $65.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 25 cents to $69.40 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.2459 while the dollar rose 0.8 percent to 110.23 yen.

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