Stock market today: World shares surge after Wall St gains on signs the US jobs market is cooling


Stocks were higher in Europe and Asia on Monday following a report that signaled the US jobs market, while still healthy, shows some signs of cooling, raising hopes for an easing of interest rate hikes.

Germany’s DAX advanced 0.7% to 15,949.69 and the CAC 40 in Paris picked up 0.8% to 7,354.96. In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.8% at 7,522.38.

The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.2%. U.S. markets will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.

“It appears that global markets are primed to be smitten with the idea of a ‘Nirvana’ Fed tightening outcome, entailing the ‘immaculate dis-inflation’ that does not cause employment pain,” Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

Apart from the favorable jobs data, fresh stimulus from China’s financial regulators for the beleaguered property sector also supported buying. They have cut down-payment requirements for first and second-time home buyers and lowered rates on existing mortgages, noted Yeap Jun Rong of IG.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 2.5% to 18,844.16, while the Shanghai Composite index added 1.4% to 3,177.06. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.7% at 32,939.18.

In Seoul, the Kospi jumped 0.8% to 2,584.55. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6% to 7,318.80.

Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Friday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 finished 0.2% to 4,515.77. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 34,837.71. The Nasdaq composite closed less than 0.1% lower, at 14,031.81, breaking a five-day winning streak.

The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added a solid 187,000 jobs in August. The job growth marked an increase from July’s revised gain of 157,000, but still pointed to moderating hiring compared with earlier this year. From June through August, the economy added 449,000 jobs, the lowest three-month total in three years.

The report also showed the unemployment rate rose to 3.8% from 3.5%. That’s the highest level since February 2022, though still low by historical standards.

Strong hiring and consumer spending have helped stave off a recession that analysts expected at some point in 2023. But they also make the central bank’s task of taming inflation more difficult by fueling wage and price increases.

Market fears that the Fed might have to keep interest rates higher for longer — following reports showing the U.S. economy remains remarkably resilient — led the market to pull back in August.

But recent economic snapshots have bolstered the view on Wall Street that the Fed may hold rates steady at its next policy meeting in September.

The U.S. central bank has raised its main interest rate aggressively since 2022 to the highest level since 2001. The goal has been to rein inflation back to the Fed’s target of 2%. The Fed has maintained that it is ready to keep raising interest rates if it has to, but will base its next moves on the latest economic data.

Banks and financial services stocks accounted for a big share of the gains among S&P 500 companies. Charles Schwab rose 2.3% and U.S. Bancorp added 1.5%.

Rising oil prices helped push energy stocks higher, as the price of benchmark U.S. crude jumped 2.3%. Exxon Mobil rose 2.1% and Chevron was up 2%.

Early Monday, U.S. benchmark crude was down 11 cents at $85.44 a barrel. Brent crude oil lost 6 cents to $88.49 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S dollar rose to 146.36 Japanese yen from 146.22 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.0793 from $1.0779.

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