Tue, 20 Apr 2021

U.S. stocks defy global trend, advance strongly

Lola Evans
06 Mar 2021, 07:17 GMT+10

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks rallied on Friday following the release of positive economic data.

U.S. employers added 379,000 jobs last month, however, the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent, the Labor Department said in a report Friday.

The majority of the new jobs were in the leisure and hospitality sectors, with lesser gains in temporary help services, healthcare, and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing, according to the monthly report released by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment fell in state and local government education, construction and mining.

The increase in new jobs topped Wall Street expectations, Xinhua reported. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had forecast 210,000 new jobs.

U.S. equities suffered a three-day skid this week as of Thursday.

"The pullback was a continuation of what we saw for most of the week: rising bond yields prompted by inflation concerns," Kevin Matras, executive vice president at Zacks Investment Research, said in a note on Friday.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. treasury jumped to 1.60 Friday morning following the strong jobs report. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond also moved higher, said Xinhua.

At the close Friday, the Dow Jones industrials were ahead 572.16 points or 1.85 percent at 31,496.30.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced 196.68 points or 1.55 percent to 12,920.15.

The Standard and Poor's 500 firmed 73.47 points or 1.95 percent to 3,841.94.

The U.S. dollar continued higher despite the recovery in stocks in the U.S. market. Theuro slipped further, last trading at 1.1920 nearing the New York close Friday. The British pound dipped to 1.3851. The Japanese yen was sharply weaker at 108.31, as was the Swiss franc at 0.9306.

The Canadian dollar dipped to 1.2658. The Australian dollar crumbled to 0.7695. The New Zealand dollar fell to 0.7172.

Overseas, in Europe, the UK, and Asia, stocks tumbled.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday said that the recent rise in yields has his attention. He reiterated that the central bank would be "patient" before changing policy even as it saw inflation pick up, saying it was likely to be a transitory fashion, the Xinhua report said.

"The market was seemingly looking for Powell to push back harder on the recent increase in yields," Ray Attrill, head of forex strategy at National Australia Bank told Reuters Thomson Friday.

"Volatility seen in local interest rate markets yesterday with another large increase in long-term rates and government bond yields has set the scene for a choppy market again today if overnight developments are any guide," he said.

In Europe, the German Dax fell 0.97 percent. In Paris, France, the CAC 40 was off 0.82 percent. London's FTSE 100 declined 0.31 percent.

On Asian markets, in Japan the Nikkei 225 closed down 65.79 points or 0.23 percent at 28,864.32.

The Australian All Ordinaries weakened 57.60 points or 0.82 percent to 6,943.00

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gave up 138.50 points or 0.47 percent to 29,998.29.

China's Shanghai Composite ended down just 1.50 points or 0.04 percent at 3,501.99 Friday after stocks were sold heavily earlier.

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