Markets fall on Thursday after the report showed a resilient job market

After two days of strong buying early in the final quarter of 2022, markets plummeted on Wednesday after a report showed 208,000 jobs added in September

NEW YORK — Wall Street futures pointed lower on Thursday amid lingering concerns that a resilient job market will keep the Federal Reserve on track for another big rate hike early next month.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were each down 0.4%.

After two days of strong buying early in the final quarter of 2022, markets plummeted on Wednesday after a report from payroll processor ADP showed employers added 208,000 jobs in September. Investors fear this could provide ammunition for Fed officials who say more rate hikes are needed cool inflation that is at a four-decade high.

“The economy is too strong for the Fed to turn around,” Oanda’s Edward Moya said in a report.

Although government jobs data released on Tuesday suggesting the job market is cooling, investors are likely to be more influenced by the weekly unemployment report, due later on Thursday, and the all-important September jobs report, due on Friday.

Wall Street analysts expect the government to report that the US economy added 250,000 jobs last month, well below the average of 487,000 a month last year but still a strong number suggesting the labor market is healthy despite chronic inflation and two consecutive quarters of US economic contraction.

At midday in Europe, London’s FTSE 100 lost 0.8%, Frankfurt’s DAX 0.4% and Paris’ CAC 40 0.6%.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to 27,311.30, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4% to 18,012.15.

Seoul’s Kospi rose 1% to 2,237.86, while Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 lost less than 0.1% to 6,817.50.

New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets rose.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 lost 0.2%. The benchmark had its strongest two-day rally in 2 1/2 years.

The Dow slipped 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2%.

Investors are hoping data showing a slowdown in the economy will convince the Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia to ease interest rate hikes. They fear aggressive measures to cool inflation could push the global economy into recession, but forecasts say hopes that central bankers will back down may be premature.

Fed officials say they are determined to keep raising interest rates and holding them at elevated levels until it is clear that inflation has eased.

In energy markets, the benchmark US crude oil lost 37 cents to $87.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It rose $1.24 to $87.76 a barrel on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia’s energy ministers and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries approved production cuts to shore up falling prices.

Oil prices rose above $110 a barrel after Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February, but has fallen back. The decision to prop prices could help Moscow sustain its income once Europe’s decision to cut purchases of Russian crude in punishment for the war in Ukraine goes into effect in December.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused OPEC of “allying with Russia.”

Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, fell 31 cents a barrel to $93.06 in London. In the previous session, it rose $1.57 to $93.37.

The dollar rose to 144.74 yen from 144.49 yen on Wednesday. The euro weakened from 98.94 cents to 98.63 cents. Markets fall on Thursday after the report showed a resilient job market

Laura Coffey

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