New York: A weak report on the U.S. jobs market pushed the dollar lower on Friday. Traders anticipated that the slowdown in hiring would keep the Federal Reserve from raising a key interest rate off a record low.
The government reported that employers added 142,000 workers last month, much lower than the 200,000 anticipated on Wall Street, and hired fewer people in July and August than previously estimated. The unemployment rate stayed at 5.1 percent, but only because many Americans have stopped looking for work so no longer counted as unemployed.
"There's just no positive spin you can put on it," said Russ Koesterich, BlackRock's global chief investment strategist. "Combined with other reports, it really raises questions about the strength of the recovery."
The report raised doubts that the Fed will start raising interest rates before the end of the year. The Fed has only two meetings left: one later this month and another in December. Until Friday morning, many investors thought the first increase would come soon. Record low rates have helped power the stock market's strong run since the financial crisis.
"We see almost no way the Fed can raise rates at its October meeting," said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at the brokerage BTIG in New York, in a note to clients. "As a result of this report, investors should rightly be debating whether the Fed can or should raise rates at its December meeting."
Updated Date: Oct 03, 2015 00:33:43 IST