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US: Stocks jump on solid April jobs report

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks jumped in opening trade on Friday after the Labour Department reported the US added 223,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,136.53, up 212.47 points (1.19 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 21.15 (1.01 per cent) to 2,109.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 51.91 (1.05 per cent) to 4,997.45.

The monthly jobs report was roughly in line with expectations after March's sharp fall in job creation. The jobless rate dipped 0.1 percentage point to 5.4 per cent.

Analysts said the report, while solid, was likely not strong enough to hasten higher interest rates from the US Federal Reserve.

The market's positive reaction reflected that the report "isn't the type of news that the data-dependent Fed can take to the rate-hike bank," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

European stocks were sharply higher, with London's FTSE 100 up more than two per cent following the surprisingly big Conservative election victory.

AFP