Quickie- Stocks up on strong US employment data

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Here's hoping the numbers tomorrow are just as good news.

LONDON — Stronger than expected U.S. jobs figures helped stocks rally Thursday and helped investors brush off interest rate increases in China and Europe.

The euro, meanwhile, was helped by the European Central Bank's indication that it would increase its key rate again this year after its widely expected move to lift the rate by a quarter point to 1.5 percent.

The main driver in stock markets was a forecast-busting U.S. jobs report and a decline in the number of weekly jobless claims. In combination, they have eased fears about Friday's government figures, which often set the tone in markets for a week or two after their release.

Private payrolls firm ADP reported that employers added 157,000 jobs in June, more than double estimates of around 70,000. Weekly jobless figures were also encouraging, with unemployment claims down 14,000 to 418,000.

"A solid 150,000 job gain in tomorrow's payrolls report now seems to be in the cards," said Robert Kavcic, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets.

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