GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. jobs data sparks rally in stocks, dollar

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 08, 2012 19:02 hrs

* U.S. November nonfarm payrolls surprise with 146,000 rise

* Dollar gains against euro and yen

* U.S. stock index futures point to higher open on Wall Street

By Richard Hubbard

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures turned higher while the dollar and oil prices jumped on Friday after a surprisingly strong American jobs report for November pointed to gathering momentum in the economy, reducing the need for more monetary stimulus.

U.S. non-farm employment increased by 146,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate dipped to 7.7 percent, the Labor Department said.

U.S. stock index futures recovered from earlier losses after the data to point to a stronger start on Wall Street, while the benchmark Treasury 10-year note yield spiked to 1.64 percent, up from 1.58 percent before the numbers.

U.S. crude oil futures jumped 34 cents to $86.60 a barrel, and Brent crude extended its gains to be up 50 cents at $107.52.

Analysts had expected about 93,000 extra jobs in November, compared with October's gain of 171,000, as superstorm Sandy took its toll on the figures. The jobless rate was expected to remain at 7.9 percent.

"The real question though is whether this changes the Fed's attitude toward more stimulus. It doesn't remove the need for stimulus but might convince the Fed to opt for a smaller program," said BK Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien

Many economists think the U.S. central bank will opt to further ease policy at its next meeting scheduled for Dec. 11-12 in a bid to keep bringing down unemployment.

The dollar rallied against the euro and yen after the data, gaining 0.6 percent on the single currency to be at $1.2884 . It rallied to 82.82 yen, matching a near eight-month high set on Nov. 22.

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