Wall Street ensured a positive finish to the week by notching a healthy gain Friday night, as a pickup in American jobs growth eased fears over the US economy.
Following a tentative start, US stocks picked up the pace after data revealed the economy added a bigger-than-expected 204,000 jobs in October. The September jobs figures were also revised up slightly.
Despite the jobless rate rising to 7.3%, and other data showing US consumer sentiment dropping to its lowest since December 2011, the October job gains appeared strong enough to bring forward the start date for stimulus tapering.
The renewed wave of optimism over the economy propelled the Dow Jones to another record high and saw the blue chip index log its fifth consecutive weekly gain.
The Dow soared 168 points (+1.1%) to 15762, the S&P500 put on 24 points (+1.4%) to 1771 and the Nasdaq added 62 points (+1.6%) to 3919.
With markets firmly in risk on mode, gold was slammed on expectations the Fed may make a move on tapering as early as December. Bullion prices slid 1.9% to US$1285 an ounce.
Oil was up modestly, but its gains were capped by the weak consumer sentiment read and other data showing US personal spending growth surprisingly falling in September.
The US dollar was resurgent against a number of other currencies, including the Aussie, which was hurt by Friday’s RBA monetary policy statement, which seemingly increased the likelihood of another rate cut.
In economic news, home loans data is due for release at 11:30am, AEDT.