U.S. STOCK MARKETS
Stocks surged Friday, with the Dow industrials jumping to a three-month high, after U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose more than expected in July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 217.29 points, or 1.7%, to 13096.17, its biggest percentage increase since late June.
Gold futures popped back above $1,600 an ounce, cutting some of this week's losses as the better-than-expected labor market reading dented the dollar and drew investors to commodities.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index climbed 25.99 points, or 1.9%, to 1390.99, led by financial and energy shares.
The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 58.13 points, or 2%, to 2967.90. Kraft Foods rose 4%, and Procter & Gamble added 3.1% among the biggest increases for Dow components--after both companies reported better-than-expected earnings.
Knight Capital Group surged 57% amid reports it had retained a credit line. The stock had plunged 75% over the previous two sessions after a software glitch caused it to make erratic trades in 148 stocks. Knight has said the error, which has the brokerage firm struggling to stay afloat, likely will cost it $440 million.
U.S. payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 163,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department reported, topping economists' expectations for the addition of 95,000 positions. But the unemployment rate rose to 8.3% versus expectations for it to remain steady at 8.2%.
Service-sector activity expanded at a slightly faster pace in July than a month earlier, according to the Institute for Supply Management, bucking economists' expectations for the group's nonmanufacturing index to show slowing expansion.
In corporate news, Zipcar tumbled 37% after the car-rental company trimmed its revenue outlook for the year and said it brought in fewer new members than anticipated.
LinkedIn advanced 16% after the professional networking site raised its revenue forecast for the year. Medical-device designer Globus Medical jumped 13% on its first day of trading.
The company's initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange priced at the low end of its reduced target range. Business software maker Eloqua, the other company to debut this week, rose 16%, adding to the 12% gain it posted after shares started trading Thursday.
Molycorp fell 29% after the rare-earth mining company posted an unexpected quarterly loss, citing soaring expenses. Facebook, which had fallen to an all-time low Thursday after disclosing additional details about its user base, rebounded 5.2%.
EUROPEAN STOCK MARKETS
Banks led European stocks in an end-of-week rally Friday, rebounding from a sharp selloff a day earlier in the wake of disappointment with the European Central Bank, while solid nonfarm payrolls data from the U.S. boosted sentiment.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 2.4% to close at 265.58 on Friday, the highest closing level since early April. On a weekly basis, the index closed higher for a ninth consecutive week, up 2.2%.
Spanish stocks rallied, reversing Thursday's rout, when the IBEX 35 index tumbled 5.2%. Rumors emerged that Spain would soon make a formal request for aid, but Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he has made no decision on whether to ask the euro zone's rescue funds for help in lowering borrowing costs.
The IBEX surged 6% to 6,755.70, up 2.1% on the week, while yields on 10-year Spanish government bonds fell 24 basis points to 6.84%, according to electronic trading platform Tradeweb.
CaixaBank SA jumped 5.1%, Banco de Sabadell SA gained 3.7% and heavyweight Banco Santander SA added 7.8%. Pressure also eased on Italian bonds, with the yield on 10-year government paper falling 17 basis points to 6.03%.
Italy's FTSE MIB index jumped 6.3% to 14,124.89 and closed out the week 3.9% higher. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA surged 13% and UniCredit SpA added 8.4%.
Meanwhile, private-sector activity in the euro zone continued to contract rapidly in July, according to the Markit composite purchasing managers' index. Also, euro-zone retail sales rose 0.1% in June, outpacing economists' expectations of a 0.1% monthly drop.
In the U.K., the service sector grew at the slowest pace in 19 months, according to a survey of purchasing managers. Among notable movers, industrial group Siemens AG gained 6.2% after it late Thursday said it would buy back as much as EUR3 billion of stock by late December.
The gain helped lift the German DAX 30 index 3.9% to 6,865.66, for a 2.6% rise on the week. Deutsche Bank AG closed up 8.7% and Commerzbank AG rose 6.4%. Banks were also on the rise in Paris, leading the French benchmark index higher.
Societe Generale SA surged 10%, Credit Agricole SA gained 8% and BNP Paribas SA rose 8.7%. Insurance firm AXA SA advanced 5.1%, as first-half profit beat market forecasts. The CAC 40 index jumped 4.4% to 3,374.19, further buoyed by oil group Total SA, up 4.2%.
On the week, the index rose 2.9%. In the U.K., resource firms and banks provided support to the FTSE 100 index, which gained 2.2% to 5,787.28, for a 2.8% rise on the week. Miner BHP Billiton PLC added 3.3%, Anglo American PLC rose 2.5%, and oil group BP PLC gained 2%.
ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS
Asian stock markets ended mostly lower Friday, joining a global chorus disappointed with the European Central Bank's inaction, while a wave of earnings disappointments from Japanese technology firms rattled investors in Tokyo.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average, South Korea's Kospi lost 1.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1% and Taiwan's Taiex shed 0.7%.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended 1.0% higher, as a reduction in stock trading fees and the Chinese central bank's comment that it will make stabilizing economic growth a bigger priority fueled hopes more stimulus was on the way.
Despite the day's losses, most of the regional markets ended the week on a positive note. The Hang Seng Index clinched a 2.0% gain, followed by a 1.3% advance for the Taiex, a 1.1% rise for the Kospi, and a 0.2% lift for the Shanghai Composite.
The Nikkei ended the week 0.1% lower, as Friday's losses erased gains recorded earlier in the week. Weak earnings dealt some severe blows to stocks in Tokyo.
Shares of Sony slumped 7.0% after the tech-heavy conglomerate posted a wider net loss for the last quarter and cut its full-year profit guidance.
Sharp Corp plunged 28.1% after its own ballooning loss and lowered outlook. The stock has now lost more than 71% so far in 2012.
Shares of Nomura Holdings fell 2.6% after a Nikkei news report that Japan's financial regulator would discipline its brokerage unit later Friday, in connection with a previously reported insider-trading case.
Exporters were sold down in Seoul on weak cues from global markets, with Hyundai Motor down 2.3% and Kia Motors off 3.0%. A sharp drop in many commodities overnight pressured resource stocks.
In Hong Kong, shares of PetroChina dropped 1.8% and Jiangxi Copper fell 2.3%. Mainland Chinese stocks ended higher, however, after the country's financial regulator said it will cut stock-trading fees with effect from Sept. 1, according to a state-media report.
Hopes of more policy stimulus in China were also aided after the People's Bank of China said it would make it will make stabilizing economic growth a bigger priority, in its quarterly monetary policy report released Thursday. Shares of China Oilfield Services gained 3.8%, Cosco Shipping rose 1.9% and Southwest Securities added 2.6% in Shanghai.
Base metals closed higher on the London Metal Exchange Friday after a stronger-than-expected U.S payroll reading, although market watchers remained dubious as to the sustainability of the gains.
At the close, LME three-month copper was up 1.5% at $7,442 a metric ton. Lead was up 2.2% on the day at $1,894.5/ton, and tin up 2.7% at $17,895/ton.
Crude-oil futures vaulted almost 5% to close above $91 a barrel after better-than-expected U.S. data fueled hopes that economic strengthening would lead to increased oil demand.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose $4.27, or 4.9%, to settle at $91.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract reached $91.74, its highest intraday price since July 20, before pulling back slightly. Brent crude on ICE Futures Europe settled up $3.04, or 2.9%, at $108.94 a barrel.
Gold futures popped back above $1,600 an ounce, cutting some of this week's losses as the better-than-expected labor market reading dented the dollar and drew investors to commodities. The most actively traded gold contract, for December delivery, rose $18.60, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,609.30 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Compiled From MORRISON SECURITIES PTY. LTD.
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