The euro neared parity with the dollar today, as traders bet on the prospect of a eurozone recession caused by soaring inflation.

Wall Street stocks opened lower after a report that showed that the US economy continued to add jobs in June at a rapid pace.

There were 372,000 new positions added in the month, the US Labor Department reported, far more than economists expected.

The strong health of the jobs market gives the US Federal Reserve more of a free hand to raise interest rates sharply to combat soaring inflation without worrying about the economy tipping into recession.

Concern by investors that the fast pace of monetary tightening by the Fed will tip the world's top economy into recession has seen stocks swoon in recent weeks.

US Treasury yields rose following the publication of the US jobs report, an indication of an expectation of higher interest rates.

"That move is the reaction to an employment situation report for June that did nothing to deter the market from thinking that the Fed is going to remain on an aggressive rate-hike path," said market analyst Patrick J. O'Hare at

The euro on Friday slumped to $1.0072, a fresh 20-year low, before recovering back above $1.01.

"The depreciation in the euro to its lowest level in almost two decades against the dollar this week in large part reflects investors' view that the ECB will tighten less aggressively than the Fed," said Jessica Hinds, senior Europe economist at Capital Economics.

In commodities trading on Friday, world oil prices rose following the publication of the US jobs report comforted worries about the health of the economy, and demand for oil.

The rise comes at the end of yet another volatile week for crude and assets in general as investors fears recession fears aggravated and faded.

Political upheaval

Markets are also tracking political unrest in Britain and Japan.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.1 percent in afternoon deals - and the pound retreated - one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was stepping down later this year following a string of scandals.

In Japan, former premier Shinzo Abe was assassinated by a gunman who opened fire at close range as the hugely influential politician delivered a campaign speech ahead of upper house elections.

The murder of the 67-year-old, who had been Japan's longest-serving leader, stunned the nation and prompted an international outpouring of grief and condemnation.

The killing "could be negative for markets if the government's policy, including its stance on monetary easing, is affected, as it was evident that he was pulling the strings behind the scenes in many ways", noted Masahiro Yamaguchi at SMBC Trust Bank.

"If it becomes possible for (current Prime Minister Fumio) Kishida to carry out policies he wanted to, such as financial tax and regulations on share buy-back, that would be negative for markets."