US hiring spurs talk of Fed rate increase


The dollar soared and bond yields rose on Friday as hiring by US employers beat Wall Street expectations and fuelled speculation that the Federal Reserve was nearing its first interest-rate hike in nearly a decade. Employers added 295,000 jobs in defiance of bad weather in February and the jobless rate dropped to 5.5%, the lowest level since 2008. The US has now seen its longest streak of monthly jobs gains above the 200,000 mark in 20 years. The dollar, already up 0.5% against the euro before the jobs report, extended its gains to 1.2% on the news. Hiring last month was led by restaurants and bars, professional business services, construction and healthcare, while the falling oil price took its toll on the drilling sector as mining jobs dropped 9,000.


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