The Fed released a strong U.S. jobs report this morning, despite the lull in global growth. The report showed an increase in both employment and wages in March. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 215,000 while the unemployment rate rose slightly from 4.9% to 5%. This minor increase, caused by more people entering or re-entering the job market, is a sign of increased confidence in the labor market. Despite the strong report, the Fed is expected to remain cautious in raising interest rates likely due to the slowing global growth.
In spite of the positive economic news, the market is down today. This is likely due to a comment by the deputy crown price of Saudi Arabia that the Kingdom will not participate in a production freeze unless Iran and other producers agree to the freeze. This news follows a statement by Russia’s Energy Minister that he expects the meeting attendees in Doha will agree to the proposed oil freeze.
Yesterday crude closed up $1.02/bbl to $38.34, RBOB closed down $0.0099/gal to $1.4265, and HO finished down $0.0251/gal to $1.1848.