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Markets: Dow loses all year's gains

World stocks slumped after another disappointing US jobs report.

Nevil Gibson
Sat, 02 Jun 2012

Another disappointing US jobs report sent stocks to their worst losses this year and wiped out all of the Dow's 2012 gains.

Oil fell to an eight-month low and gold rose.

Stocks slumped after nonfarm payrolls rose 69,000 in May, the smallest gain in a year and well below forecasts for an increase of 155,000.

March and April job gains both were revised down. Friday's report was the third in as many months to come in shy of expectations.

In other reports, the unemployment rate ticked one-tenth of a percentage point higher to 8.2%, the first increase in nearly a year, and the manufacturing sector slowed down a bit in May.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 274.88 points, or 2.2%, to 12,118.57. The S&P 500 index fell 2.5% to 1278.04 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.6% to 2747.48.

Other markets: Europe, Asia down
European stock markets tumbled on a combination of downbeat eurozone manufacturing surveys and the US jobs data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 1.9%, to 235.09, its lowest close since December. For the week, the index dropped 3.1%.

The UK FTSE 100 index, which dropped 0.9%, at 5260.19. The index fell 1.7% on the week.

In Germany, the DAX index lost 3.4%, to 6050.29, its lowest close since January. On the week, the index lost 4.6%.

The French CAC-40 index fell 2.2%, to 2950.47, declining 3.2% for the week.

Asian stock markets fell Friday on weak manufacturing data in China, while a stronger yen fuelled losses in Japan, erasing all of its 2012 gains.

The Nikkei closed at 8440.25, a 1.2% drop, Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell by 0.3% to 4063.90 and Korea's Kospi swooned 0.5% to 1834.51.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was at 18558.34, a 0.4% drop, and the China Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 2373.44.

Commodities: Oil falls to eight-month low, gold rises
Crude-oil futures tumbled to their lowest point in eight months.

Light, sweet crude futures for July delivery settled at $US83.23 a barrel, down $US3.30, or 3.8%, in New York. That's the lowest settlement since last October 7.

July Brent futures lost $US3.44, or 3.4%, to $US98.43 – the largest one-day price and percentage loss of the year and the lowest settlement since January 27, 2011.

Gold prices roared to a three-week high on speculation of fresh monetary stimulus triggered by a disappointing US monthly employment reading.

Gold for June delivery, the front month contract, settled $US57.90, or 3.7%, higher at $US1620.50 an ounce in New York.

The most actively traded contract, for August delivery, rose $US57.90, or 3.7%, to settle at $US1622.10 an ounce.

Currencies: Euro recovers against US dollar
The euro rose in a volatile session after the US jobs report raised the chance that the Federal Reserve will move to stimulate the economy.

The dollar had been up before the data after a round of lacklustre manufacturing surveys from China and the eurozone.

The euro bought $US1.2416 versus $US1.2369 late on Thursday. The euro initially fell as low as $US1.2292 in the wake of the US payrolls figures.

Trading in the yen was especially volatile. The dollar initially spiked to a low of ¥77.63 but then reversed sharply to ¥78.68. It finished at ¥78.14.

The Australian dollar pared losses after the US jobs data to buy 96.65USc compared with 97.06USc late on Thursday.

Sterling traded at $US1.5359, down from $US1.5416 on Thursday, to stand at its lowest level versus the dollar since January.

Nevil Gibson
Sat, 02 Jun 2012
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Markets: Dow loses all year's gains