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Strong US jobs figure closes week

Daily Market Update

The Australian share market finished higher on Friday ahead of the United States jobs report, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gaining 28.7 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,954.2, while the broader All Ordinaries added 25.5 points, also 0.4 per cent, to 7,143.0.

For the week, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.3 per cent, in its third straight week of losses.

  • In the US, stocks rose despite the release of stronger-than-expected US jobs data, which implied that the Federal Reserve will feel it needs to continue with its monetary tightening. The US economy added 336,000 jobs in September, nearly double what economists had forecast, with strong gains in the leisure, hospitality, healthcare and government sectors. And to add to the impressive jobs showing, the July and August numbers were revised upward to 236,000 and 227,000 respectively, a combined upward revision of 198,000 jobs.

    But bond traders were unnerved by the strong jobs number. The US ten-year yield rose by 8 basis points to 4.80 per cent, the five-year by 7 basis points to 4.75 per cent, and the two-year note yield rose by 6 basis points to 5.08 per cent.

    The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 288.01 points, or 0.9 per cent, to close at 33,407.58, up 0.5 per cent for the week, breaking a four-week negative streak. The broader S&P 500 lifted 50.31 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 4,308.50, for a 0.5 per cent weekly rise. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index gained 211.51 points, or 1.6 per cent, closing at 13,431.34, making its gain for the week 1.6 per cent.

    China reported that its foreign exchange reserves fell by US$45 billion in September, to US$3.115 trillion ($4.87 trillion. China held 70.46 million ounces of gold at the end of September, up from 69.62 million ounces at the end of August.

    Gold eased 59 cents to US$1,832.61 an ounce on Friday, marking its second straight weekly loss, down almost 1 per cent.

    The global benchmark Brent crude oil price plunged 11 per cent, despite a rise on Friday, to begin what it likely to be a troubled new week at US$84.58 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 48 cents to US$82.79 a barrel, but sank 9 per cent over the week.

    Iron ore in Singapore trades at US$114.90 a tonne, down 1.9 per cent from last Monday.

    At the ASX Friday close the Australian dollar was buying 63.56 US cents, down from 64 cents at the start of the week. As of Monday morning the Aussie is buying 63.59 US cents.

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