Dollar surges after another strong US jobs report

AP News
Posted: Mar 06, 2015 8:51 AM
Dollar surges after another strong US jobs report

LONDON (AP) — Another strong U.S. jobs report gave the dollar a big lift Friday as traders think it may prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this summer. Stocks, meanwhile, were fairly flat-footed as any concerns over higher borrowing rates are offset by hopes over the U.S. economic outlook.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.5 percent to 11,556 while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.3 percent to 4,977. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares underperformed its counterparts, trading 0.2 percent lower at 6,949. U.S. stocks were poised for a flat opening with Dow futures and the S&P 500 futures both up 0.1 percent.

ANALYST TAKE: The figures are likely to fuel speculation that the Fed could raise interest rates in June. Last week Fed chair Janet Yellen indicated that a summer hike was possible while leaving the door open to a later increase. "All things considered I think this is a very good labor market report and will only feed into expectations for a rate hike from the Fed in June," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. "The rally in the dollar immediately after the release clearly supports this view."

DOLLAR SPIKES: The dollar was the main mover after the release of the figures as traders priced in an earlier rate hike. The euro, already at 12 year lows, slid 1.4 percent to $1.0881 while the dollar rose 0.5 percent to 120.81 yen.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian stock markets closed mostly higher, except for China and Hong Kong, boosted by an upgraded growth forecast for the eurozone. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 percent to 18,971.00 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent to 2,012.94. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged down 0.1 percent to 24,164.00.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 12 cents to $50.88 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 27 cents to $60.75 in London.