Global stock markets rose yesterday after US jobs data assuaged fears of a slowdown in the world’s top economy, analysts said.

However, expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut were still very much alive, they added, even as the unemployment rate dropped to a 50-year low in September.

American employers added a total of 136,000 net new positions in September, below expectations. But whatever disappointment the data brought was offset by an upward revision in August figures and another drop in the unemployement rate. Wage growth was weak, however.

Markets appeared “to find some relief from a mixed September nonfarm payroll report” said analysts at Charles Schwab.

“The data comes as recession concerns ramped up, along with Fed rate cut expectations, this week as manufacturing and services sector reports came in well below expectations,” they said.

In Europe, stocks were jolted out of earlier softness by the data, while Wall Street came off to a stronger start.

In Europe, stocks were jolted out of earlier softness

Traders reported investors switching out of Treasury bonds and gold into stocks as some appetite for risk returned.

Still, many investors remained worried by earlier data suggesting that the US is now feeling the effects of its long-running trade war with China.

On Thursday a measure of the crucial services sector came in at its lowest for three years.

Earlier, stock markets in Asia finished mostly lower, with Hong Kong marking the heaviest drop.

Property firms were among the worst hit, as demonstrators took to the streets again to protest the imposition of a law banning face masks following months of sometimes violent protests.

Mumbai fell 0.7 per cent after the Indian central bank announced a rate cut as expected but slashed its economic growth outlook. Shanghai was closed for a holiday.

Hong Kong sank 1.1 per cent as the city’s government announced the face mask ban as it looks to quell the demonstrations that have rocked the economy.

But there are worries that the rarely-used colonial-era emergency power could lead to further confrontations or more, stricter laws later.

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