GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks at new peaks, commodities jump on U.S. jobs data

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks at new peaks, commodities jump on U.S. jobs data
Credit: © Reuters.

(Updates prices, oil settlement)

* MSCI AWCI, Dow, S&P500 indexes hit fresh highs

* Copper at all-time high on recovery prospects

* Graphic: Global asset performance

* Graphic: World FX rates

By Herbert Lash and Ritvik Carvalho

NEW YORK/LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - Commodity prices jumped, the dollar slid to a two-month low and major global equity indexes scaled record peaks on Friday after weak U.S. jobs data for April tamped down fears that a booming economy would spark inflation and higher interest rates.

The data eased worries the Federal Reserve would reduce its massive stimulus program anytime soon and was seen as helping President Joe Biden to push through his plans for trillions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure and education. yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note dropped to a two-month low of 1.469% and gold extended a rally that put it on track for its best week since November. Copper burst to a new high, surpassing a record set a decade ago.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by only 266,000 jobs last month. Data for March was revised down to show 770,000 jobs added instead of 916,000 as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls would advance by 978,000 jobs.

The report doused fears a booming U.S. economy that would spur inflation and force interest rates higher.

"Anybody who thought the Fed is going to be tapering sooner than later, that's not happening," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist for the Americas at Natixis in New York.

"There is no inflation coming on the labor side. The economy is booming, and the labor market recovery is still ongoing."

MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.86% to 710.17. Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 added 0.84% to close at 1,712.4. Both indexes set new highs.

On Wall Street, the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 hit new peaks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.58%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.64% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.72%.

The tech-rich Nasdaq, which has struggled recently after leading the rally in equities since last year, rose more than the Dow and S&P 500, as low rates benefit high-growth firms.

"In this type of environment where growth is slightly slower than anticipated in the short term, (tech stocks) can start to get bid over the summer when they had been left for dead," said Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member at hedge fund Great Hill Capital LLC.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose about 0.4%, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 gained about 0.2%. Chinese blue chips .CSI300 closed 1.3% lower on the day.

MSCI's emerging market currency index .MIEM00000CUS sailed to a new high, lifted by the weaker dollar =USD . The benchmark index is dominated by Asian currencies, including China's yuan CNY= CNH= , which strengthened more than 0.5% in offshore trading to hit its best level in 2-1/2 months.

"The market expectation of super-high rates and a squeeze on inflation is going to go down by the wayside, and that obviously means more liquidity from the Fed," said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management.

"U.S. interest rates will stay at ultra-low levels for quite a while and that is going to keep the pressure on the dollar."

The dollar index =USD fell 0.67%, with the euro EUR= up 0.79% to $1.2159. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.41% versus the greenback at 108.64 per dollar.

Higher-rated euro zone bond yields dipped after the U.S. employment data missed expectations. Euro area benchmark German 10-year yields reversed earlier gains and were trading flat at -0.218%.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury US10YT=RR yield rebounded after an initial plunge, up 1.8 basis points at 1.5788%.

Oil prices were little changed as the COVID-19 crisis in India worsened, but prices were set for a weekly gain against the backdrop of optimism over a global economic recovery.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 19 cents to settle at $68.28 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures CLc1 gained 19 cents to settle at $64.90 a barrel.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled up 0.9% at $1,831.30 an ounce.

Aluminum prices approached levels last seen in 2018 and copper CMCU3 hit an all-time high as investors bet on a rapid global recovery from the pandemic, led by the United States. MET/L Iron ore futures also vaulted to a record high. Emerging markets Global asset performance U.S. non-farm payrolls


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