Friday March 9th


Dow futures jump 200 points after better-than-expected jobs report

U.S. stock index futures jumped on Friday after the government reported better-than-expected job growth for the previous month. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 200 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 18 points and 57.50 points. The U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 200,000. Wages, meanwhile, grew less than expected, rising 2.6 percent on an annualized basis. Stronger-than-expected wage growth helped spark a market correction in the previous month. The moves in premarket trade come after Wall Street finished on a positive note on Thursday, following more developments concerning tariffs. President Donald Trump signed two declarations on Thursday, which would implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The tariffs are expected to take effect in 15 days and will put a 25 percent charge on steel, and 10 percent on aluminum. Canada and Mexico however are exempt. Sticking with the U.S., Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with the leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un by the month of May. Outside the White House, South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yon said Thursday that the North Korean leader had "expressed eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible." Asian stocks closed higher on Friday following news that U.S. President Donald Trump had agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The move also tracked moderate gains seen on Wall Street following the implementation of U.S. metals tariffs. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed higher by 0.47 percent at 21,469.20 after earlier recording gains of more than 2 percent on the news. The broader Topix index gained 0.32 percent. Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.08 percent to close at 2,459.45 as tourism-related stocks got a boost from the latest geopolitical development. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.96 percent by 3:05 p.m. HK/SIN. On the mainland, the Shanghai composite edged up by 0.58 percent to close at 3,307.64 and the Shenzhen composite added 1.56 percent to end at 1,885.38. Crude oil futures rose on Friday after two days of sell-offs amid optimism over a planned meeting between North Korea's Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump. Kim also pledged to refrain from further nuclear or missile tests, lifting Asian stock markets and pulling crude oil futures along with them. Brent crude was at $64.25 per barrel, up 64 cents, or 1.01 percent, from its previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.61 a barrel, up 49 cents, or 0.8 percent. Still, both Brent and WTI are on course for weekly losses of around 0.5 percent and 1.34 percent, respectively. Gold prices sunk on Friday following the release of nonfarm payrolls data that far exceeded expectations. Spot gold fell after the release of the report, touching lows of $1,313.34 before ticking back up to $1,315.689 an ounce by 8:41 a.m. EST, a loss of 0.45 percent. The metal was on track for a third consecutive weekly decline. U.S. gold futures for April delivery fell 0.43 percent to $1,316.