News Column

World Markets Get Mild Boost From American Employment Data

Jan 7, 2013

U.S. and European stocks traded only modestly higher after news that the American economy kept creating jobs at the expected rate last month.

The price of oil fell slightly as investors weighed the possibility that the US Federal Reserve might end its extraordinary economic stimulus measures later this year.

Brent February crude fell $1.23 to $110.91 a barrel by 1738 GMT, back below its 100-day moving average of $111.22. The session low was $110.38, Reuters reported. US February crude was down 37 cents at $92.55.

The Labor Department reported U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December.

Major indexes moved a little higher after the release of the U.S. non-farm payrolls figure but didn't get much of a bounce from the numbers.

The Dow Jones industrials average was up 0.1 percent at 13,340.64 in midday trading in New York, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 was up 0.3 percent at 1,463.26.

Stocks in Europe had been down early in the session. Britain's FTSE closed 0.7 percent to 6089.84 and the German DAX rose 0.26 percent to 7776.37. France's CAC 40 climbed 0.2 percent to 3730.02.

Japan's benchmark stock index soared on its first trading day in the new year as investors belatedly joined the rally over the last-minute budget deal reached in Washington to avoid steep, automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

Source: (c)2013 Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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