Asian marts, dollar up

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    NEW YORK- The dollar and the yield on the benchmark Treasury note edged higher in light trading after data showing a surge in the hiring of Americans in March pointed to a US economic recovery that is poised to be the strongest in decades.

    Asian markets overnight rose as optimism over a global economic recovery lifted equity markets in Japan, China and South Korea.

    Equity markets were closed for Good Friday in the Americas, Europe and elsewhere, but it is not a US government holiday and the Labor Department released the closely watched non-farm payrolls report.

    The US economy added 916,000 jobs in March, more than economists’ forecast of 647,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.0 percent from the previous month’s 6.2 percent. Jobs numbers for February were revised upwards according to the jobs report.

    Futures for the S&P 500 stock index extended gains to 0.43 percent after the report.

    Despite the strong numbers the data will not alter the Federal Reserve’s stance on monetary policy, said Steven Ricchiuto, US chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA in New York.

    “The economy’s bouncing back, but it’s not producing the things that are going to change the direction of monetary policy,” Ricchiuto said. “We’re going to test the 1.77 percent level (in the 10-year Treasury note), but I’m not sure it’s going to break (through) on this number.”

    The 10-year US Treasury note rose 3.5 basis points to yield 1.7143 percent, but the rise was still below a 14-month high of 1.776 hit on Tuesday.

    Treasury yields have spiked on the economic outlook, spurred by US President Joe Biden’s plans for $2.3 trillion in infrastructure spending and the accelerating rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

    The March labor market report is the first of what are likely to be several very strong jobs reports over the next few months, said Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc in Troy, Michigan.