Friday February 5th


Futures fall on weak US jobs report

U.S. stock index futures turned lower on Friday after a disappointing U.S. jobs report. The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in January. Economists expected a gain of 190,000. The unemployment rate, however, fell to 4.9 percent from 5.0 percent. The job market has been a pillar of strength for the U.S. economy and a key reason that the Federal Reserve was able to hike interest rates, so January's employment report has become even more critical amid new signs the economy has hit a soft patch. Elsewhere on the data front, consumer credit is set to come out at 3:00 p.m. In oil markets, Brent crude traded around $34.75 a barrel on Friday morning, up by 1 percent, while U.S. crude was at around $32 a barrel, up 1.13 percent. On the earnings front, CME Group and Estee Lauder, among others, reported before the bell. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei finished 1.32 percent lower, while the Shanghai Composite closed 0.61 percent lower in China. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.31 percent higher on Friday. Gold hit a three-month high on Friday, on track for its strongest weekly gain in a month after growing doubts about whether the Federal Reserve can keep raising interest rates put pressure on the dollar. Other precious metals rode on gold's rally, with silver and platinum also at multi-month highs. Silver is on track for its best week since May last year. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,158.76 an ounce, after touching $1,158.80, its highest since Oct. 29.