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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth slowed in July andan unexpected rise in the unemployment rate pointed to some slack in the labor market that could give the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for a while. It will reinforce for now the Federal Reserve's commitment to a gradualist policy approach," said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz in Newport Beach, California. July marked the sixth straight month that employment has expanded by more than 200,000 jobs, a stretch last seen in 1997. The one tenth of a percentage point increase in the unemployment rate to 6.2 percent came as more people entered the labor market, a sign of confidence in employment prospects.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower at the open, as a softer-than-expected July jobs report allayed concerns that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates sooner than many had expected. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28.51 points or 0.17 percent, to 16,534.79, the S&P 500 lost 3.01 points or 0.16 percent, to 1,927.66 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.00 points or 0.05 percent, to 4,367.77. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
By Bernie Woodall, Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. auto sales look set to show healthy gains for July, but not as much as expected, according to early returns from the major carmakers on Friday. Ford Motor Co reported a gain of 10 percent to 212,236 vehicles, narrowly beating expectations, but both Nissan Motor Co and Chrysler Group LLC failed to sell as many cars and trucks in July as analysts had expected. Analysts had expected Ford to show a 9 percent increase in sales. Chrysler's sales gain of 20 percent missed expectations of a 25.5 percent increase, and Nissan's rise of 11 percent was below estimates of nearly 13 percent.
(Reuters) - Chevron Corp , the second-largest U.S. oil company, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as higher energy prices offset rising expenses and production dips in Kazakhstan. Chevron's reliance on higher crude oil and natural gas prices to boost results, even as production falls, mirrored results from rival Exxon Mobil Corp on Thursday, and underlined Wall Street's concerns that international energy giants were not replenishing reserves fast enough. Chevron said net income rose to $5.67 billion, or $2.98 per share, in the second quarter, from $5.37 billion, or $2. ...
U.S. consumer spending rose for a fifth straight month in June, but a moderation in price increases suggested the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates anytime soon. The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending increased 0.4 percent after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in May. Spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, had been forecast rising 0.4 percent after a previously reported 0.2 percent gain in May. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending increased 0.2 percent after edging up 0.1 percent the prior month. Consumer spending in the second quarter increased at a 2.5 percent pace and the rise in June augurs well for an acceleration in spending in the third quarter. A price index for consumer spending rose 0.2 percent after advancing 0.3 percent in May. In the 12 months through June, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index rose 1.6 percent.
Procter & Gamble Co , the world's largest household products maker, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as its cost cutting efforts paid off and organic sales rose in its home care business. The maker of Pampers diapers and Tide detergent said it expects organic sales and core earnings to rise for the full year started July, sending the company's shares up more than 3 percent in early trading. P&G said it would streamline its business and focus on about 70 to 80 "core" brands that are industry leaders and partner, discontinue, or divest the rest of its 90 to 100 brands. Still, the company's net sales in the fourth quarter ended June 30 missed Wall Street's expectations and analysts were not satisfied with the "quality" of P&G's results.
(Reuters) - South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co is recalling about 420,000 vehicles covering three models for separate problems in the United States, after recalling 883,000 Sonata sedans this week, according to U.S. safety regulators. No injuries or accidents have been reported in the latest recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on its website on Friday. Some 225,000 Santa Fe crossover vehicles from the 2001 to 2006 model years are being recalled in 20 cold-weather U.S. states because road salt can cause rust in a coil spring, the NHTSA said. About 133,000 mid-size Sonata sedans from the 2011 model year are being recalled because leaking brake fluid can increase the distance required for a vehicle to stop, adding to the risk of a crash, NHTSA said.
By David Brunnstrom and Matt Siegel NEW DELHI/SYDNEY (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday that India's refusal to sign a global trade deal sent the wrong signal, and he urged New Delhi to work to resolve the row as soon as possible. A World Trade Organization pact to ease worldwide customs rules collapsed late on Thursday over India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling. "Failure to sign the Trade Facilitation Agreement sent a confusing signal and undermined the very image Prime Minister Modi is trying to send about India," a U.S. State Department official told reporters after Kerry's meeting with Modi.
By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Activity in China's vast factory sector expanded at the fastest pace in 27 months in July, while industry surveys across Asia showed a pick up in export orders that hinted at a long-awaited revival in global trade. China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in July - the strongest since April 2012 and up from 51 in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. The upbeat result was echoed in the HSBC/Markit China measure of manufacturing which climbed to an 18-month peak of 51.7, from June's 50.7. "Taken literally, these PMIs signal an exceptionally strong start for third quarter growth in China," said Annette Beacher, head of Asia-Pacific research at TD Securities in Singapore.
Part-nationalised British lender Royal Bank of Scotland said on Friday it had placed restrictions on its lending in Russia following developments in Ukraine. The European Union cut off financing for five major Russian banks on Thursday over Moscow's support for separatist rebels in Ukraine. The measures aim to prevent Russian banks from raising money on Western capital markets. RBS said it had reviewed credit ratings, adjusted lending limits and placed additional credit restrictions on new business in Russia.