Investing.com – Take a peek at the top 5 things that rocked U.S. markets this week.
Nonfarm payrolls missed expectations
The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, the Department of Labor said Friday, that missed economists’ estimates for 310,000 new jobs.
The weaker jobs report failed to dampen expectations for a December hike, as analysts insisted the report would not weaken the Fed’s case for a year-end rate hike.
"Despite coming in below expectations, this is the type of report the Fed was looking for to sign, seal, and deliver a rate hike in December," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial.
The dollar added to the previous weeks’ gains against its rivals, rising 0.22% to 94.83.
Crude oil prices settled at 2-year highs
Crude Oil futures settled at two-year highs on Friday amid a spike in sentiment on oil after the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by eight to 729, declining for the fourth week in five, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes.
That was the first time since May 26 that oil rig counts fell below 730, fueling expectations that market rebalancing is well underway as data earlier this week showed Opec members continued to cut output.
Crude Oil prices settled 55.64, up $1.10.
The Bank of England raised rates for the first time in a decade
The Bank of England raised rates to 0.5% from 0.25% but tempered expectations for further rate increases, warning that brexit poses risks to the UK growth outlook.
The minutes of the meeting showed that the central was reluctant to raise rates again in the future.
“All members agreed that any future increases in Bank Rate would be expected to be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent,” the minutes showed.
GBP/USD fell to a one-month low of $1.3040 after the rate decision but pared some of its losses in Friday’s session.
Bitcoin hit record highs
Bitcoin rose above $7400 for the first time its nine-year history on Friday amid expectations of an uptick in institutional demand for the digital currency after the CME grouped announced plans to launch bitcoin futures.
Futures markets regulator CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) announced plans on Tuesday to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter.
The announcement comes ahead of an upcoming split or fork of the underlying software supporting the bitcoin network as the next iteration of the segregated witness update – Segwit2x – is slated to activate.
SegWit2x aims to speed up transactions on the bitcoin network by increasing the size of “blocks” - files that store information on the network - from one megabyte to two megabytes (hence, the 2x).
Gold fell to third straight week of losses
Gold prices fell for the third-straight week amid dollar strength as a weaker-than expected jobs report failed to derail investor expectations for a year-end rate hike.
A surge in U.S. services sector growth, meanwhile, fuelled optimism of bullish U.S. economic growth forcing traders to abandon their bullish bets on the gold.
Net bullish bets on gold fell to 191.4K, according to a report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.
Gold prices traded at $1270.90, down 0.56% on Friday.
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