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S&P/ASX 200 rises following better-than-expected jobs report

Brent crude futures fell 3.2% to US$66.49 per barrel on Wednesday on fears that rising inflation might lead the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

American Rare Earths Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Gold prices hit a four-month high of US$1,889.75 on Wednesday.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) has gained 0.80% to 6,987 by about 12.45 pm following the release of better-than-expected job numbers.

Australia’s jobless rate declined from 5.6% to 5.5% in April, beating economists’ expectations, with the number of unemployed people falling by 33,000.

The market was expecting the unemployment rate to remain steady at 5.6% and for 20,000 jobs to be added.

Financial stocks were among the gainers, with Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) lifting 2.4% and Westpac (ASX:WBC) rising 1.07%.

US monetary policy

The US markets were weaker overnight as investors digested the minutes from the April 28 Federal Reserve meeting.

Federal Reserve officials indicated that a strong pickup in economic activity would warrant discussions about tightening monetary policy.

The meeting summary said: “A number of participants suggested that if the economy continued to make rapid progress toward the Committee’s goals, it might be appropriate at some point in upcoming meetings to begin discussing a plan for adjusting the pace of asset purchases.”

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include American Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:ARR) (+11.59%), Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) (+12.50%), Arrow Minerals Ltd (ASX:AMD) (+16.67%), Castillo Copper Ltd (ASX:CCZ) (+9.30%), Firefinch Ltd (ASX:FFX) (+9.09%) and Golden Rim Resources Ltd. (ASX:GMR) (+10.00%).

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