Overseas markets were mixed with the Dow and the NASDAQ up 0.6% and 0.9% respectively. Both indices closed close to their day highs of 17,811 points and 4917 points.
Elsewhere though, the FTSE 100 was down 0.4%. Markets in mainland Europe were more volatile than the UK with the Dax falling 170 points to close at 9794 points, representing a fall of 1.7%. The Paris CAC 40 was off 1.4%, closing at 4322 points.
Looking at other key regions, the picture was broadly negative with the Nikkei 225 (-3.5%) and the Hang Seng (-1.3%) underlining negative sentiment in Asia. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.2%, finishing at 3009 points.
The key driver in the US was positive employment data which flowed through on Friday indicating 215,000 new jobs were created in March. This was slightly ahead of most analyst’s expectations, accounting for its significant impact on Friday trading.
The Fed Reserve would have been paying close attention to the wages growth figure which chairwoman Yellen has been pointing to in highlighting the fact that headline employment figures didn’t tell the whole story.
Wages increased a marginal 0.3% in March to US$25.43 per hour. This arguably isn’t going to be a significant enough increase in terms of being a major consideration when the Fed reviews its interest rate position.
Also of significance was the fact that there were sharp falls in jobs in the mining, logging and manufacturing sectors. Industries that were particularly buoyant were retail, education, health services and leisure and hospitality.
On the commodities front, Brent crude slumped circa 4% and this is likely to weigh on energy stocks in Australia when the market opens on Monday morning.
Gold traded in a broad range between US$1210 per ounce and $1237 per ounce, finishing at US$1223 per ounce, down circa 1%.
Copper futures continue to fall and nickel also came under pressure.
Iron ore was one of the few metals to experience a gain, increasing circa 2% to US$54.80.
The Australian dollar was relatively unmoved at US$0.766
The SPI futures is up 23 points or 0.5%