By Georgi Kantchev

U.S. stock futures edged higher Friday after data showed job creation slowed in December but wage growth accelerated.

U.S. futures pointed to an opening gain for the S&P 500 of less than 0.1%. Changes in futures don't always reflect market moves after the opening bell.

The dollar rose and U.S. government bond prices fell. The ICE Dollar Index, which measures the buck against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.2%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which rises as prices fall, was 2.380% Friday, according to Tradeweb, up from 2.370% at Thursday's close.

The U.S. added a seasonally adjusted 156,000 in December from the prior month, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected 183,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7% from 4.6% in November, matching economists projections.

Wages posted the biggest annual gain in more than seven years, rising 2.9% in December, though gains remained weak by historical standards.

Ahead of the report, Mark Richards, global strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said he expected a healthy rise in U.S. jobs in December, with the number confirming the trend in other data in recent months.

"We are in a global economy where most indicators are improving and inflation is picking up from a low base and all this is supportive for risk assets like stocks," Mr. Richards said.

Expectations of a higher-growth, higher-rate environment under President-elect Donald Trump have fueled a broad stock rally and helped push the dollar to its highest level in 14 years, while also sending government bond yields higher since the November election.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 declined 0.1%. Asian markets were mixed with investors watching China's yuan, which surged in recent days after a prolonged selloff. Beijing has been fighting to control the currency's recent descent and on Friday guided the yuan 0.9% stronger against the dollar, its biggest increase since 2005.

The yuan slipped in offshore markets, underscoring the difficulty of the task for Chinese authorities, as many investors still expect the yuan to decline in the long run. The currency fell 0.5%, with one dollar buying 6.829 yuan. On Wednesday and Thursday in the offshore market, the yuan surged 2.5% against the dollar.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.3% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.2%.

Gold fell 0.4% to $1,176.40 an ounce, and U.S. crude oil added 0.7% at $54.15 a barrel.--Aaron Kuriloff contributed to this article.

Write to Georgi Kantchev at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2017 09:08 ET (14:08 GMT)

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