Friday February 3rd


US stock futures extend gains after jobs report beat

U.S. stock index futures traded higher on Friday after the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 227,000 in January while the unemployment rate edged higher to 4.8 percent. The report was the first since President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20. In the past, Trump has been critical of the unemployment rate, saying it understates the actual level of joblessness. Elsewhere on the data front, Markit services PMI is due at 9:45 a.m. ET, with the ISM non-manufacturing index and factory orders set to come out at 10 a.m. ET. On the earnings front, Clorox was among the companies that reported before the bell. Stocks were on track to post weekly losses amid uncertainty surrounding some of the Trump administration's policies. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported President Donald Trump will sign an executive order aimed at watering down the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulatory framework. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.6 percent higher on Friday. Chinese shares were in the red after returning from a week-long holiday, as a private Chinese manufacturing survey missed forecasts and China's central bank surprised markets by raising its short-term lending rates. China's Shanghai composite fell 0.59 percent or 18.5 points to close at 3,140.6, while the Shenzhen composite was down 0.39 percent or 7.5 points at 1,909.78. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was down 0.42 percent by mid-afternoon. Japan's Nikkei 225 index was flat at 18,918.2 after the Bank of Japan December meeting minutes showed that several policymakers said that they should not set a rigid range in trying to achieve its target of guiding its government bond yields to around zero percent. In oil markets Friday, Brent crude was around $56.73 a barrel, up 0.3 percent, while U.S. crude was at $53.70 a barrel, up 0.3 percent. The U.S. currency recovered some poise ahead of the payrolls numbers due at 1330 GMT, helping to push spot gold 0.3 percent lower at $1,211.81 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for April delivery fell by $5.80 an ounce to $1,213.6.