NEW YORK: Global stock markets posted modest gains on Friday while US jobs data pointed to a possible soft patch for the world’s top economy, dealers said. Eagerly awaited job creation numbers missed analysts’ forecasts but “fit into the current market narrative” that the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month, Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said. Interest rate cuts often boost share prices. Asian indices had risen earlier in the day on news that the United States and China are to resume high-level trade talks in October. On Wall Street, the benchmark Dow added 0.3%, leaving it up 1.5% for the week. In Washington, the Labour Department said employers added 130,000 net new positions in August, far fewer than analyst forecasts for 171,000, while the jobless rate held steady at 3.7% and wages rose. The headline figure included 25,000 temporary jobs related to the upcoming 2020 population census, which meant hiring by private employers was even weaker. Data for the two previous months were revised lower as well. The numbers suggest US economic activity is slowing down, reinforcing expectations of interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2019.