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US week close had a volatile spirit – intense trading on jobs data

Latest jobs data from the United States helped the US dollar rally. Markets enjoyed a volatile close of the week.

The S&P 500 declined in turbulent trading on Friday as a plunge in Amazon dragged on consumer companies. The fresh employment data dampened hopes for an earlier stop in Federal Reserve rate rises.

The S&P 500 plummeted 1.01 %, the Dow Jones sank 0.46 %, and the Nasdaq fell 1.4 %. Amazon shares declined more than 8% after a more than 7% gain during the last US session. Alphabet also ended the week in the red with more than 2.5% decline. Apple managed to keep its gains from the last day and piled on 2.5% more.

More to read: Tech rallies with Q4 results, ECB and BoE boosted the dollar

According to data released on Friday, the US economy added 517,000 employment opportunities last month, far above the 185,000 positions predicted by experts. The month-over-month increase in average hourly wages fell to 4.4% in January, but was higher than predicted. The robust employment data prompted some Wall Street analysts to modify their forecasts for a Fed halt next month.

The US dollar enjoys a strong week’s close

Strong US employment statistics supported the US dollar, the leading currency in the foreign exchange market today. USD/CAD increased 0.66% during the US session after reaching an intraday bottom of 1.3311 before the opening of Wall Street.

GBP/USD slumped 1.4% to a month low to the 1.20 area as everyone moves back to the dollar. EUR/USD ended the week with a downfall, after ECB’s 50 basis point hike from a day before. The US job data clearly played in favor for the dollar and moved the pair 1% lower, below 1.08. EUR/USD was briefly touching 1.1 during the week.

Dollar’s rise is pulling the commodities to the red zone

Historically, positive US employment figures led almost immediately to a rise in oil prices. Not any longer. Crude prices fell 7% for the week, pushing global benchmark Brent below $80 per barrel down 2.9%. WTI futures for March fell to the low $70s by 3.5%. US employment data boosted the dollar which was not good for the commodities.

Natural gas futures closed 21% lower this week as the weather keeps weighing on the price. The Henry Hub traded around $2.4 which is another 2% lower since last close.

Also interesting: While some think Bitcoin is dead, Cathie Wood sees it at $500,000

Gold futures for March delivery were not able to withstand the dollar’s pressure and moved well below $1,900 to close the week 2.7% lower. The yellow metal’s little brother silver, also for March, slumped more than 5%.

Tomáš is a financial reporter with US markets as his main field. Tomáš is an aspiring author and entrepreneur aspiring to help people get better in financial knowledge.


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