Friday December 2nd


US stock futures mostly flat after jobs report beats expectations

U.S. stock index futures traded flat-to-lower on Friday as investors digested a better-than-expected jobs report. The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.6 percent. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 175,000 with the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.9 percent. In oil markets on Friday, Brent crude traded at around $53.54 a barrel, while U.S. crude was around $50.85 a barrel. Wednesday saw OPEC agree to its first oil production cut in eight years, which has triggered a rally in oil prices. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 1 percent lower on Friday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.88 percent lower on Friday, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.47 percent lower. On the earnings front in the U.S., Big Lots reported quarterly results before the bell. Spot gold was up 0.13 percent at $1,172.40 an ounce by 8:40 a.m EDT. The metal fell to its lowest since Feb. 5 at $1,160.38 in the previous session and is on track for its fourth straight week of losses. U.S. gold futures gained 0.33 percent to $1,173.30. Capital Economics commodities economist Simona Gambarini said that a December rate rise has already been factored in to gold prices and that U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is uppermost in investors' minds.