Upbeat jobs data sees US markets end on a positive note

By Trevor Hoey. Published at May 8, 2017, in Features

After a flat to negative week, US stocks rallied late on Friday with the Dow edging up above the psychological 21,000 point mark for the first time since March. The April new jobs figure of 211,000 was better than consensus, and while wages growth is meagre job numbers were enough to get the market excited.

The NASDAQ notched up another record high, closing at 6100 points, representing a gain of 0.4%, outperforming the Dow which climbed 0.3%.

Positive momentum continued in Europe with the FTSE 100 gaining 0.7% to close at 7297 points, recovering all of the lost ground from a tapering off that commence in mid-April.

A rebound in the oil price assisted European stocks with strong performances from Royal Dutch Shell plc (+2.7%) and BP plc (+1.5%).

German and French markets continued to surge on the back of the anticipated win by Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election, which eventually came to pass on Sunday. The Paris CAC 40 surged 1.1% to close at 5432 points while the DAX rallied 0.5% to close at 12,716 points.

It could be argued a Macron victory has already been factored into European markets, particularly the Paris CAC 40 which increased nearly 400 points in the week from the previous Friday’s close of 5059 points, representing a gain of nearly 400 points or circa 7.5%.

It is also worth noting that the DAX is at an all-time record high, having gained approximately 670 points in the last five training sessions.

On the commodities front the spotlight was on oil as it rallied 2% to close at US$46.47 per barrel, recovering from an intra-week low of circa US$44 per barrel.

Gold stabilised after heavy mid-week falls to close at US$1228 per ounce.

Iron ore continued its downward trend, closing at US$61.73 per tonne representing a decline of more than 5%.

Base metals generally traded higher, but failed to recoup the heavy declines experienced throughout the week.

Copper gained nearly 1% to close at US$2.52 per pound.

Nickel was the best of the base metals, rallying approximately 1.5% to close at US$4.12 per pound.

Zinc was up just shy of 1%, closing at US$1.17 per pound.

Lead came off slightly, but its close of just above US$0.99 per pound saw it outperform most other metals on a week on week basis.

The Australian dollar strengthened slightly and is fetching US$0.742, still well below the levels of more than US$0.75 that it peaked at on Tuesday.

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