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US stocks flat on lackluster jobs growth

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks opened flat Friday as official data showed the US economy added 156,000 jobs in September, a bit fewer than expected.

Unemployment in September edged up by 0.1 percentage points to 5.0 per cent, the Department of Labour said. While weaker than forecast, some analysts said the report would keep the Federal Reserve on track to hike interest rates before the end of the year.

Investors were also watching for effects from Hurricane Matthew as it hugged the Florida coast. The market was also assessing the significance of a "flash crash" in the British pound that briefly sank the currency before it recovered somewhat.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,271.14, up less than 0.1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 per cent at 2,160.91, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 5,303.71.


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