International markets were mixed over the last two sessions with Thursday night’s lacklustre European session turning into losses in the US last night on the back of disappointing jobs numbers.
Last Thursday the UK’s FTSE 100 added 20 points (+0.4%) to settle at 5724, whilst the CAC (+0.2%) and DAX (-0.1%) weren’t quite as impressive.
Overnight, the Dow Jones slumped 131 points (-1%) to settle at 12930, whilst the S&P 500 (-1.1%) and Nasdaq (-1.1%) lost a similar amount.
The S&P 500 slid to its lowest point in more than three weeks during the session, reacting to Friday’s jobs numbers, but recovered some of that lost ground and held well above its 50-day moving average near 1,371.
US non-farm payrolls added 120,000 jobs in March, far below the forecast gain of 203,000 jobs, Labor Department data showed.
The US unemployment rate slipped to 8.2% in March from February’s 8.3%.
The payrolls report cast doubts on the United States’ ability to help bolster the global economy as Europe’s debt crisis resurfaces and worries remain whether China’s economy will avoid a hard landing.
At the same time however, there are renewed hopes for more monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
The greenback weakened against most major peers overnight on bets the Fed will start another round of asset purchases, which may debase the currency, after the jobs data.
Oil declined as an employment report added to speculation that U.S. fuel demand will slow and Iran agreed to resume talks on its nuclear program.
Crude for May delivery fell 85 cents to settle at $102.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In company news, the ACCC has approved Foxtel’s takeover offer for Austar United. The decision, which was approved by Austar shareholders last month, comes almost a year after Foxtel initially launched bid.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of ANZ job advertisements and NAB business confidence, 12:30am, AEST.