Wall Street: U.S. equity markets struggled to make headway on Friday after the release of the Non-Farms Payroll data revealed that employers cut less jobs than expected. The initial reaction to the data was positive for equities but as the day progressed tech stocks and pharmaceuticals dragged on the market. Citigroup fell 3% after a report emerged that the FDIC is contemplating reshuffling of the banks top management. DuPont dropped after the company received two downgrades, from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch to underperform. Drug company Merck dropped 1.9% after the company’s heart failure drug, rolofylline, failed a late stage study. On the day, the DOW gained 12.89 points to close on 8763.13. The S&P fell 2.37 points to 940.09 while the NASDAQ lost 0.60 points to close on 1849.42.
Europe: European markets benefitted from the much better than expected non-farm payrolls data. Oil producers gained after oil prices climbed on Thursday and mining stocks moved higher after Rio Tinto gained more than 10% after the announcement of the joint venture with BHP Billiton. On the day the German DAX gained 12 points, the CAC 40 gained 27 points and the U.K. FTSE added 52 points.
Asia: Asian markets moved higher on Friday as traders once again regained their appetite for risk on hopes the global economy is still on track for recovery. Oil prices moved higher on Thursday leading to gains in energy stocks. Rio Tinto and Billiton surged and they announced they will combine their major Australian operations. Mitsubishi Motors gained 2.3% on the Nikkei while LG Display gained on the South Korean KOSPI, which closed 1.2% higher. The Japanese Nikkei gained 99 points while the Hang Seng added 177 points.
Financial Sector: In trade on Friday the XLF, the financial sector ETF, dropped 0.10 points (0.8%) to trade at 12.33. It moved higher on lower volume; 120.9m ETF's changed hands, below the ten day average of 169.8.0m. Equity markets closed slightly higher on Friday in a session that saw the major indexes struggle after the release of the non-farm payrolls data. .
Treasuries: Treasuries dropped on Friday as traders speculated the Federal Reserve will interest rates later in the year after a smaller than expected loss of jobs. Yields on the ten year Treasury note hit 3.89%, the most since November 4, while the two year Treasury note yield hit the highest since September, rising 29 basis points to 1.24%.
Crude oil: Oil prices dropped slightly on Friday, as traders took profits after the non-farms data showed a slower pace of job losses. Oil had rallied to more than $70 a barrel, but settled near $68.50 a barrel. Oil prices also suffered as the dollar strengthened against the euro. Crude oil prices are expected to continue to move higher as the global economy recovers and demand picks up.
Gold Bullion: Gold prices dropped on Friday as the dollar strengthened against all of the other major currencies on the heels of the better than expected non-farm payrolls data. Gold bullion dropped approximately $23 to trade near $960 an ounce.