Wall Street up, Europe down after US jobs data highlights gulf
Stocks on Wall Street edged up yesterday after better-than-expected US jobs and factory data, suggesting stronger corporate earnings ahead, but a gloomy manufacturing report in Japan knocked other global equity markets lower and crude oil prices fell.
European shares pared losses and US stocks rose on reports that showed US employment increased solidly in March and manufacturing activity expanded last month for the first time in six months on a surge in new orders.
Yesterday's big news was non-farm payrolls in the United States. They increased 215,000 though the US unemployment rate rose to 5pc from an eight-year low of 4.9pc, the US Labor Department said.
Ironically, the jobless rate rose as more people continued to seek work, a sign of confidence in the jobs market.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 46.16 points, or 0.26pc, to 17,731.25. The S&P 500 gained 3.88 points, or 0.19pc, to 2,063.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.07 points, or 0.47pc, to 4,892.92.
In Dublin, the ISEQ closed down 0.39pc at 6,921.44 after a quiet day of trading.
Oil futures fell about 4pc to below $39 per barrel, with the market growing increasingly sceptical that a looming deal to freeze crude production can help clear a global glut.
In Europe, equities tumbled to a one-month low on the first trading day of the quarter yesterday, with energy stocks hit by weaker oil prices while Osram retreated after it was dropped from Apple's top supplier list.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1.5pc at its close, hitting its lowest level in a month earlier in the session.
Bucking the trend was steelmaker Thyssenkrupp, up 4.9pc after German business paper 'Rheinische Post' reported that India's Tata Steel was planning to take a stake in Thyssenkrupp's European steel unit.