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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares gain on US jobs data, euro rises after ECB
March 7, 2013 / 3:31 PM / 5 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares gain on US jobs data, euro rises after ECB

* Equities rise after encouraging U.S. labor market report

* Euro rises after ECB president gives no hint of further easing

* Brent oil rebounds after U.S. economic data

* Bonds slip as safe-haven appeal recedes

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on Thursday after an encouraging U.S. weekly labor market report suggested a steadily improving economy, while the euro strengthened after the European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting a pick-up in the labor market recovery and economic growth.

Equities on Wall Street opened higher on the labor report, but European shares pared their gains when ECB President Mario Draghi was non-committal as to whether he felt equity markets were fairly priced at current lofty levels.

MSCI’s all-country world stock index was up 0.2 percent on the day. The index touched 359.47, a new intraday high for the year.

“It’s certainly welcoming to the market and it’s once again supporting the thought that the economic recovery is strengthening despite the stalemate in budget talks, etc,” said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. LLC in New York.

Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc in Troy, Michigan, said the declining number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was an encouraging sign for the economy.

The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 last week, suggesting a pick-up in the labor market recovery.

“It shows now that we have a few consecutive weeks where new claims are at this lower trend; it’s very encouraging for labor market conditions currently and going forward,” Price said.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 43.85 points, or 0.31 percent, at 14,340.09. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 2.33 points, or 0.15 percent, at 1,543.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.29 points, or 0.13 percent, at 3,226.66.

The euro was up 1.1 percent on the day at $1.3106. The session peak of $1.3116 marked a five-day high.

Prices for U.S. Treasuries slid as a second straight day of better-than-expected labor market data boosted appetite for riskier assets.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes slid 9/32 in price to yield 1.9687 percent.

Oil rebounded above $111 a barrel as the ECB gave no strong hint about monetary policy easing in the months ahead and on the better-than-expected jobs data.

The ECB and the Bank of England kept interest rates on hold, as expected. Better-than-forecast U.S. jobs data suggested a pick-up in the labor market recovery and economic growth.

Brent crude rose 28 cents at $111.34 a barrel. U.S. WTI crude futures rose $1.14 to $91.57.

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