Markets Live: FBI bombshell cheers investors – The Age
Also overshadowed by the election brouhaha was Friday night’s news that US jobs continued to rise at a steady pace in October while, crucially, wage gains accelerated.
Payrolls climbed by 161,000 last month following a 191,000 gain in September that was larger than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday. The jobless rate fell to 4.9 per cent, while wages rose from a year earlier by the most since June 2009.
The figures are likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise borrowing costs next month for the first time in 2016. Underlying the steady gains in employment is a balance between hiring managers’ need to keep up with stable domestic demand and the struggle to match more limited labor to skilled-job vacancies.
“This is a good, solid report, consistent with the fed moving in December and certainly consistent with 2 per cent economic growth,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Growth across wages was strong, which is going to reinforce the Fed’s view.”
Wage gains picked up, with average hourly earnings rising 0.4 per cent from a month earlier to $US25.92. The year-over-year increase was 2.8 per cent, compared with 2.7 per cent in the year ended in September.
Higher wages are starting to encourage more Americans to quit their jobs with the confidence they’ll find other work that pays more. The number of job leavers as a share of unemployed rose to 12.1 per cent in October, the highest since February 2007.
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart signalled the US central bank was on track to raise interest rates next month, provided nothing intervened to give policy makers “pause.”
“There’s a relatively high bar, at least in pure economic terms, a relatively high bar to not moving in December,” Lockhart told reporters Friday in Orlando, Florida. “There are other things that go on in the world that could give pause and I don’t completely rule them out,” he said, without providing specifics.
Markets are pricing in a 75 per cent chance of a hike in December, on Bloomberg data.