Wall Street equities rebounded Friday on data showing the US economy created jobs at a solid clip in November, heightening expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month.
The Labor Department report showed strong hiring in a broad range of industries, including construction, retail trade, finance and business services. While wage growth remained slow, the report overall indicated a firming of the jobs market.
"The 'data dependent' Fed will be reassured that the economy is showing no sign of succumbing to worries about the global outlook," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit (NasdaqGS: MRKT - news) .
"A December rate hike now looks to be in the bag."
In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood up 1.3 percent, with the broad-based S&P 500 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index managing similar gains.
"It (Other OTC: ITGL - news) was a bit of a Goldilocks report that stocks tend to favour," said analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets UK.
"Over 200,000 jobs were created with moderate wage growth suggesting strength in the economy but not so much strength that it means the Fed will have increase the pace of subsequent rate rises."
The prospect of a rise in interest rates would normally not be good for equities, as it will increase the borrowing costs for companies, but the Fed finally beginning to raise its benchmark federal funds rate after having keeping it locked near zero for nearly seven years could also be taken as a signal the US economy has found its legs again.
- Investors reassess European outlook -
European stocks also came off their lows after the US jobs report, with Frankfurt's DAX 30 index closing in positive territory.
Earlier they had churned lower on lingering disappointment over "underwhelming" eurozone stimulus measures
European stocks had plunged Thursday as the European Central Bank's plan disappointed investors, sparking a global sell off that spilled over into Wall Street and Asia.
Speculation had swirled for weeks that the ECB would ramp up its bond-buying programme and loosen monetary policy to bolster growth and counter weak inflation.
Hopes were stoked Wednesday by news that eurozone inflation languished at 0.1 percent in November -- far lower than the ECB's official 2.0-percent target.
The bank on Thursday cut deposit rates further into negative territory -- meaning lenders must pay to park cash with it and so look to loan more -- and extended the length of its bond purchases.
The news sent the euro surging on Thursday to a one-month peak at $1.0981, having earlier hit a 7.5-month low of $1.0524 in highly volatile deals.
"The euro moving from near multi-year lows to a one-month high in the space of a day has meant investors have had to quickly reassess their outlook for European stocks given the reduced export-advantage," said Lawler.
The euro slid back to $1.0891 in trading on Friday.
European energy company shares fell sharply as the OPEC oil cartel failed to move to eliminate the glut in supply that has led to a collapse in prices over the past 18 months.
Shares (Berlin: DI6.BE - news) in both BP and Shell (LSE: RDSB.L - news) both fell 2.4 percent in London trading, while Total (Swiss: FP.SW - news) shed 2.3 percent in Paris.
Asian stocks finished in the red, with Tokyo down 2.2 percent, Shanghai shedding 1.7 percent and Sydney 1.5 percent lower.
- Key figures around 1730 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 6,238.29 points (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.3 percent at 10,752.10 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 4,714.79 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.02 percent at 3,343.94
New York - Dow: UP 1.3 percent at 17,711.24
New York - S&P 500: UP 1.2 percent at 2,074.35
New York - Nasdaq (NasdaqGS: NDAQ - news) : UP 1.3 percent at 5,104.98
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 2.2 percent at 19,504.48 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN to $1.0891 from $1.0947 in late US trade on Thursday