* U.S. jobs come in at 148,000 vs 180,000 estimate
* Dollar falls to two-year low vs euro
* Expectations of Fed's continued bond buying boosts stocks
* Brent crude rises on news of U.S.-Saudi rift over Mideast
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The dollar slid to a two-year
low against the euro and global equity markets rose for a fifth
straight session on Tuesday after weak U.S. jobs data reinforced
expectations the Federal Reserve will keep its easy-money policy
intact into 2014.
The S&P 500 index, a benchmark for U.S. stocks, set an
intraday record high, while U.S. Treasuries yields fell to the
lowest levels in three months on the labor market report.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 in September, the
Labor Department said in a report delayed by the 16-day shutdown
of the federal government. The total was well below economists'
estimates of 180,000 new jobs.
Data for August was revised to show more positions created
than previously reported, but revisions to the July figures
showed employment gains that were the weakest since June 2012.
Economists and market analysts said the tepid pace of U.S.
job growth supported the decision by the Fed's policy-setting
Federal Open Market Committee in September not to begin to pare
its purchases of $85 billion a month in bonds to bolster the
"Today's underperforming jobs number fully justifies
September's cautious FOMC," said Joseph Trevisani, chief market
strategist at WorldWideMarkets in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
"Dollar bulls will be discomfited but equities will find the
economic logic invigorating."
Stocks rose on Wall Street, in Europe and elsewhere in the
Americas after the jobs report. The euro jumped and the dollar
index slipped, while government debt prices rose on both sides
of the Atlantic, pushing yields lower.
Equities later pared gains, and the technology-rich Nasdaq
composite index briefly slipped into negative territory before
MSCI's all-country stock index, which tracks
stocks in 45 countries, rose 0.72 percent to levels last seen in
January 2008. The FTSEurofirst 300 of leading European
shares rose 0.54 percent to close at 1,288.06.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was
up 97.76 points, or 0.64 percent, at 15,489.96. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was up 11.86 points, or 0.68 percent, at
1,756.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.00
points, or 0.28 percent, at 3,931.05.
The euro hit a
high of $1.3792 against the dollar, its strongest level since
Nov. 14, 2011. It was last at $1.3782, up 0.74 percent.
Against the yen, the dollar fell as low as 97.86 yen
was last down 0.06 percent at 98.12 yen in choppy trade.
The dollar index, a basket of six major trading
currencies, was down 0.57 percent.
"This really does push us into a January, February mode (for
Fed tapering), and if there is a shutdown, possibly even
further," said Aaron Kohli, an interest rate strategist at BNP
Paribas in New York.
The deal reached by Congress last week to end the government
shutdown was only a temporary fix, providing funds for the
government until Jan. 15 and raising the government's debt
ceiling until Feb. 7 -- a situation that could lead to another
U.S. political standoff early next year.
Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 25/32 in
price to yield 2.516 percent, the lowest since July 24.
German Bund futures hit two-week highs, closing 63
ticks higher on the day at 140.54, while yields on German
10-year government debt fell below 1.80 percent.
"This report definitely gives the Fed pause. It keeps QE
alive and bonds will like it and so might stocks. This is
positive for all asset prices," said Craig Dismuke, chief
economic strategist with Vining Sparks in Tennessee.
Brent crude oil rose above $110 per barrel, pulling its
premium above U.S. light crude to the widest in six months,
after news of a deterioration in relations between the United
States and key OPEC oil producer Saudi Arabia.
Brent for December rose 33 cents a barrel to settle
at $109.97. U.S. crude futures slipped $1.42 to settle at $97.80
U.S. gold for December, the most active gold futures
contract on New York's COMEX, rose $26.80, or 2 percent, to
settle at $1,342.60 an ounce.
European equities set five-year highs in a broad-based rally
spurred by the jobs report and corporate results that beat
Norwegian insurer Gjensidige jumped 8 percent on
third-quarter earnings that beat forecasts and a surprise
special dividend. UK consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser Group
rose 5.2 percent after reporting higher revenue and
saying it was reviewing options for its pharmaceuticals unit.
- USA News