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There were 151,000 jobs added in January, which was well below the 190,000 expected and the previous month’s number was revised down from 292,000 to 262,000. But the rest of the report more than made up for it.
The unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% and the average hourly earnings ticked higher to 2.5% on a year-on-year basis. The fine detail is often the biggest driver of markets when it comes to the jobs report and the same is true for today.
Equity markets reacted the least to the numbers, as stocks were trading sideways before the announcement. That has now turned into a slightly negative move. The dollar rallied on the back of the announcement, which helped the currency regain lost ground from what was a poor week for the greenback.
Gold fell below $1150 after the announcement as the metal was riding high on the weak dollar. Oil was also hit by the surge in the US currency.