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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks climb as U.S. jobs data seen denting rate hike chances
September 1, 2017 / 7:03 PM / 19 days ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks climb as U.S. jobs data seen denting rate hike chances

* U.S. job growth slows in August; wage growth retreats

* Yields rise on strong manufacturing data

* European shares finish higher, boosted by results

* U.S. gasoline prices retreat, oil falls (Updates to late-afternoon U.S. trading)

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks rose on Friday after data showed U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in August, which could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

Traders in currency and bond markets, however, viewed the data as not soft enough to completely rule out another rate hike by the U.S. central bank this year. The dollar climbed and Treasury yields rose.

Headline jobs growth slowed after two straight months of strong gains, while average hourly earnings rose three cents, or 0.1 percent, versus forecasts of 0.2 percent.

MSCI’s All World Index, which tracks shares in 46 countries, was up 0.32 percent, less than 1 percent shy of a record high.

Global stocks managed to claw back from early-month declines to finish August with a fractional gain of 0.17 percent, according to the MSCI index.

The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index scratched out an advance of 0.06 percent. Nonetheless, August was the poorest showing for U.S. equities since March and for global stocks since last October, the month before the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

On Friday, U.S. stocks rose and all three major indexes were on track to post gains for a second straight week.

The employment report was “a little disappointing but not wildly different then what we’ve historically seen,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, who noted August’s report tends to have seasonal quirks.

“There’s really nothing in the report that I think dissuades the market from a bullish bias.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.81 points, or 0.31 percent, to 22,015.91, the S&P 500 gained 7.12 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,478.77 and the Nasdaq Composite added 7.19 points, or 0.11 percent, to 6,435.86.

European shares started September on a firm footing after three months of losses, as financials rose. The pan-European STOXX 600 index finished up 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasury yields rose as strong manufacturing data boosted sentiment that economic growth is solid, even after the unexpectedly weak August jobs report.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index for factory activity soared to 58.8 in August, the highest since April 2011.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yields rose to 2.157 percent from 2.122 on Thursday.

Treasuries are coming off their strongest month since June 2016, having delivered a total return of 1.13 percent in August, according to Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Fixed Income Index data.

That outperformed most other classes of bonds as Merrill’s Corporate, Government & Mortgage Index returned just 0.94 percent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.15 percent to 92.805.

“The (Fed) rate hike is still sort of a question mark, but (Friday’s jobs data) wasn’t that big a miss to take it totally off the table for the rest of the year,” said Alfonso Esparza, senior currency analyst at Oanda in Toronto.

Benchmark U.S. gasoline prices slid for the first day since Hurricane Harvey struck the U.S. oil industry heartland, as some refineries restarted operations.

Gasoline futures were down 2 percent.

U.S. crude settled up 6 cents or 0.13 percent, at $47.29 a barrel and Brent crude settled 11 cents, or 0.21 percent lower, at $52.75.

Spot gold, which touched a 9-1/2-month high after the U.S. jobs data, was up 0.24 percent to $1,324.78 an ounce.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, Karen Brettell, Richard Leong, Dan Burns and Sam Forgione in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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