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Market News

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extended its all-time high as data showed that US companies added to payrolls last month. US employment figures are expected to move ahead adding a further 200,000 individuals to the nonfarm payrolls in March according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg. This is the biggest increase since November and is expected to be confirmed in tomorrow’s Labor Department reports.

On this news the US dollar gained against other major currencies while Treasury notes fell. Commodities, which are mainly dollar based also came under pressure but pared loses towards the end of the day.

Markets appear to be gaining confidence in a US recovery while European economies continue to recover after particularly poor conditions a few years ago. Overall, employment and general economic activity continue to move up.

Early this morning Asian stocks rose for a seventh subsequent day as China’s government announced stimulus measures. China’s government will sell the equivalent of $24 billion of bonds this year to fund infrastructural investment and extend tax breaks.

The European Central Bank will probably keep interest rates at a record low today, even as International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said more monetary easing is needed.

Meanwhile, Brent crude dropped below $105 a barrel for the first time since November after an agreement in Libya to reopen ports. West Texas Intermediate remained flat on a report that showed that US crude inventories have decline last week. Gold rose 0.8 percent on speculation that demand in China will increase. Natural Gas spiked as Spring set off under unusually cold weather in the US.

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