By Herbert Lash
NEWYORK (Reuters) – World equity markets surged and crude oil prices jumped on Friday after a stronger-than-expected U.S. employment report, a surprise bounce in Chinese manufacturing and optimism over U.S.-China trade talks tamped down fears of slowing global growth.
Equity markets in Europe and across the Americas rallied, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting record intraday highs and MSCI’s gauge of equity performance across the globe rising to within 2.2% of its all-time high set in January 2018.
The strong U.S. and Chinese data and remarks by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that the “phase one” trade pact with China appeared in good shape lifted crude prices, overshadowing a Reuters survey that showed oil prices are expected to remain under pressure through next year.
U.S. job growth slowed less than expected in October as the drag from a strike at General Motors <GM.N> was offset by gains elsewhere and hiring in the prior two months was stronger than previously estimated, data from the Labor Department showed.
“This report isn’t weak enough to signal caution or a recession on the horizon,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.
“But the jobs market still isn’t strong enough to suggest that the Fed or other central banks should be tightening interest rates. Investors like that dynamic,” he said.
The data should allay concerns about the health of the U.S. consumer in fourth quarter, said Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist at INTLFCStone Financial Inc in New York.
“The numbers were better than expected; this bodes well for the broader economy,” Abbasi said, referring to the jobs report.
In China, the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for October rose to 51.7 from 51.4 the prior month, marking the third straight month of expansion. Economists had expected a dip in growth to 51.0.
The data lifted Chinese blue chips <.CSI300>, which jumped 1.7% in their best day since mid-August. Seoul’s Kospi <.KS11> rose 0.8% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng <.HSI> added 0.7% on news of the manufacturing report.
MSCI’s gauge of stock performance in 47 countries <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.71%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> closed up 0.68%.
On Bay Street in Toronto, the TSX composite index <.GSPTSE> rose 0.46%, while in Mexico the bolsa index <.MXX> rose 1.04% and in Brazil the Bovespa <.BVSP> gained 0.75%.
By late afternoon on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 244.21 points, or 0.9%, to 27,290.44. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 25.25 points, or 0.83%, to 3,062.81 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 76.55 points, or 0.92%, to 8,368.91.
U.S-China trade tensions have slowed global growth and weighed on investor sentiment, with economic data showing slowing manufacturing output.
The U.S. economy’s manufacturing sector contracted for a third straight month in October but at a slower pace than the previous month, an index from the Institute for Supply Management showed.
Both Brent, the global benchmark, and U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose more than 3%.
Brent crude <LCOc1> rose $2.07 to settle at $61.69 a barrel, while WTI crude <CLc1> settled up $2.02 to $56.20 a barrel.
The dollar slid as optimism that the United States and China will reach a deal to end their trade war reduced safe-haven demand for the greenback.
The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.13%, with the euro <EUR=> up 0.13% to $1.1165. The Japanese yen <JPY=> weakened 0.16% versus the greenback at 108.23 per dollar.
Yields on U.S. government bonds rose after the jobs numbers but later pared some of the gains after the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing indexes were weaker than forecast.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note <US10YT=RR> fell 12/32 in price to push its yield up to 1.7348%.
Euro zone government bond yields pushed higher on the economic signals from U.S. data and Christine Lagarde began her presidency of the European Central Bank.
Most 10-year bond yields in the bloc rose around 2 basis points on the day after striking two-week lows on Thursday.
Germany’s 10-year Bund yield was at -0.38% <DE10YT=RR>.
Gold prices eased as the better-than-expected U.S. employment report and strong factory data from China bolstered sentiment for riskier assets.
Spot gold <XAU=> dipped 0.3% to $1,508.49 an ounce.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Alistair Bell and Dan Grebler)