Saturday, 6 February 2021

Markets mixed, US reports weak January job growth

Markets were mixed on Friday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to a record high but the STOXX Europe 600 was flat.

Earlier in Asia, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.5 percent but the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2 percent.

A report on Friday showed that the US economy added 49,000 jobs in January while the data for December was revised to show 227,000 jobs lost instead of 140,000 as previously reported.

“The weakness portrayed in today’s labor report opens the door for the Biden administration to push forward with a higher spending package and provide relief for many Americans and businesses that continue to struggle with the pandemic,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management.

Still, some economists are hopeful that January marks the low point for US employment.

“Much stronger jobs figures are likely from the second quarter onwards,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING in New York.

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