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Markets unmoved by broadly in-line US jobs data

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A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm showing Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 that slipped 8.11 points, or 0.05 percent to close at 15,063.77 in Tokyo, April 4, 2014. Asian stock markets were little changed Friday after the European Central Bank refrained from further easing of monetary policy and investors looked to the upcoming U.S. jobs report for a new trading cue. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm showing Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 that slipped 8.11 points, or 0.05 percent to close at 15,063.77 in Tokyo, April 4, 2014. Asian stock markets were little changed Friday after the European Central Bank refrained from further easing of monetary policy and investors looked to the upcoming U.S. jobs report for a new trading cue. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, April 4, 2014. Asian stock markets were little changed Friday after the European Central Bank refrained from further easing of monetary policy and investors looked to the upcoming U.S. jobs report for a new trading cue. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 percent to 15,091.33. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, April 4, 2014. Asian stock markets were little changed Friday after the European Central Bank refrained from further easing of monetary policy and investors looked to the upcoming U.S. jobs report for a new trading cue. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 percent to 15,091.33. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

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LONDON (AP) — Stocks remained solid but largely unmoved by U.S. jobs data Friday as investors said the pace of job creation was not enough to prompt a change in the Federal Reserve’s policy.

The U.S. Labor Department found that the world’s largest economy added 192,000 jobs in March. That was slightly below February’s total of 197,000 but more or less exactly the consensus of analysts’ expectations. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent.

Because the figures matched predictions, they failed to change perceptions over the future policy path of the Federal Reserve. Over the past few months, the Fed has been reducing its monetary stimulus amid mounting evidence of a sustainable economic recovery in the U.S.

“The scars from the recession remain and it will take time for the Fed to reach its goals, but the uptick in employment should make its job easier as it moves to reduce its stimulus program further,” said Dennis de Jong, managing director at UFXMarkets.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.5 percent at 6,681 while Germany’s DAX rose the same rate to 9,674. The CAC-40 in France was 0.4 percent higher at 4,468.

Wall Street was poised for a solid opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.4 percent.

The dollar was trading more or less where it was before the data, with the euro up 0.1 percent at $1.3725. On Thursday, the euro faltered as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi stressed that the bank was ready to act if inflation in the 18-country eurozone remained low.

Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged down 0.1 percent to 15,063.77 and Seoul’s Kospi drifted down 0.3 percent to 1,988.09. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.2 percent to 22,510.08. But mainland China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.7 percent to 2,058.83 while Australia’s S&P ASX/200 added 0.2 percent to 5,422.80.

Associated Press

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