New York: US markets surged ahead on Friday, as investors welcomed good news from the closely watched jobs report released by the government. The US economy added 216,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to 8.8%. While the recovery is still considered sluggish, the jobs addition is a good sign.
However, geopolitical events abroad, as well as rising petrol prices continue to weigh on Americans.
In corporate news, Ford outsold General Motors for the month—selling more vehicles in a month’s period since Feb 2010, and prior to that, in 1998. Ford sales were up 19.2% from a year earlier while GM’s were up 9.6%.
In world markets, Asian indices ended mixed. Japan’s Nikkei fell half a percent, after it was reported that new auto sales fell 37% in March, attributed to last month’s natural disaster.