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Big rally at Wall Street

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Investors cheer the Employment Situation Report for February

US stocks advanced on Friday, 09 March 2018 climbing steadily over the course of the session, as investors cheered the Employment Situation Report for February, which showed strong jobs growth while keeping inflation concerns at bay. The Dow closed back above 25,000 and the Nasdaq ended at a record on Friday as Wall Street appeared to shake off worries about tariffs on and aluminum to focus on an unexpectedly strong jobs report.

The surged 440.53 points, or 1.8%, to end at 25,335.74 for a weekly gain of 3.3%. The index climbed 47.60 points, or 1.7%, to close at 2,786.57, ending the week 3.5% higher. The Index added 132.86 points, or 1.8%, to finish at 7,560.81, up 4.2% for the week.

Financials, industrials and all rallied more than 2%.

The U.S. created 313,000 new jobs in February, the biggest gain since mid-2016 and a reflection of the strongest labor market in two decades. Market had predicted a 222,000 increase in nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%. Hourly pay rose 4 cents, or 0.1%, to $26.75 an hour. Market had been expecting average hourly earnings to have risen 0.2%, after a 0.3% gain in January, with an overall jobs gain of 220,000. The subdued rise in wage growth for the month helped to ease worries about runaway inflation.

U.S. Treasuries sold off in reaction to the jobs report, pushing yields back towards the multi-year highs they hit a couple of weeks ago; the 10-yr yield advanced to 2.89% after finishing Thursday at 2.87%. The uptick in yields helped underpin the financial sector (+2.5%), which finished at the top of the sector standings.

News that Trump accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean helped underpin Wall Street on Friday. The meeting, which will reportedly take place by the end of May, would mark the first meeting between a sitting U.S. and a member of the Kim dynasty.

In addition, investors were still chewing on Trump's tariff announcement on Friday, which went better than many were expecting. The president officially approved tariffs on and aluminum imports shortly before Thursday's closing bell, but gave and an exemption and said that other countries might also receive an exemption depending on their willingness to renegotiate trade deals with the U.S.

Bullion prices ended higher on Friday, 09 March 2018. Gold prices ended higher on Friday, erasing their loss for the week, as monthly data revealed a strong rise in U.S. jobs, but disappointing growth in wages. The U.S. dollar weakened in the wake of the employment data. Gold and the greenback often move inversely as a weaker dollar can raise the appeal for investors using other currencies to buy the

April gold rose $2.30, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,324 an ounceup roughly 60 cents, or 0.05%, for the week, leaving its year-to-date gain at roughly 0.8%. May silver tacked on 0.7% to $16.608 an ounce, clinging to a 0.9% weekly gain.

Crude prices received a boost on Friday, 09 March 2018 notching a gain for the week, as the possibility of a meeting between U.S. President and North Korea's prompted investors to take some geopolitical risk out of the equation for the crude market. News of the first weekly decline in the U.S. in seven weeks also contributed to oil's price rise.

April Intermediate crude rose $1.92, or 3.2%, to settle at $62.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, turning what would've been a weekly loss into a climb of roughly 1.3% from the week-ago settlement. May Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose $1.88, or 3%, to end at $65.49 a barrel on the exchangeup 1.7% for the week. Both WTI and Brent on Thursday had marked their lowest settlements since mid-February.

Crude futures had a turbulent week, with prices pulled down in earlier sessions after data showed U.S. crude stocks rose 2.4 million barrels and production hit a record high in the week ended 2 March 2018.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 12:38 IST