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Markets surge on jobs, trade

By Michael McCarthy (chief market strategist, CMC Markets and Stockbroking)

Investors chased growth exposures on Friday night. Better than expected US non-farm payrolls, weaker China trade numbers and surprise oil production cuts from Saudi Arabia combined to lift shares and industrial commodities. Currencies held steady, but bonds and gold fell. The risk on moves are likely to lift Asia Pacific markets this morning.

The creation of 266,000 new jobs in November was well above estimates between 180,000 and 190,000. The employment strength is supported by solid wages growth of 3.1% pa. Interest rate traders immediately sold bonds and lifted shorter rates above the current cash rate, implying no probability of a rate move at this week’s Federal Reserve board meeting.

Falling China exports also lifted risk appetites. Traders linked a 23% drop in trade with the US to an increased likelihood of a trade deal. Market confidence is high, and so are the stakes as the December 15 deadline for new tariffs approaches.

Saudi Arabia announced oil production cuts at the OPEC plus meeting in Vienna, pushing crude prices to three-month highs. The high impact announcements comes before the launch of the state owned producer Aramco on Wednesday. Other countries are expected to follow given a potential overhang in crude markets over 2020.

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