US job growth almost stalled in February as employers added just 20,000 jobs, the smallest monthly gains since September 2017, amid harsh winter weather and a weakening US and global economy. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent from 4 percent, the Labor Department said in its monthly jobs report.
Oil prices fell more than 3 percent after the European Central Bank warned economic weakness would continue, coupled with the fresh set of weak economic data from US and China and as US crude output and exports chase new records, undermining efforts by producer club OPEC to tighten global markets. WTI crude prices have hit a low of $54.66.
FOMC member Lael Brainard said the Federal Reserve should lower its expectations for rate hikes even if its outlook for the economy has not changed because of signs of a slowdown in spending and other risks.
The UK prime minister Theresa May is expected to request the bloc’s negotiators in a speech today, to agree to changes she proposed to a previously agreed Brexit deal, which the UK parliament will vote on next week. The EU has insisted that it will not rewrite the agreement, which British MPs rejected in a vote in January.