Stocks continued their retreat around the globe on Friday night, with losses piling up on both sides of the Atlantic.
In Europe the FTSE 100 shed 71 points (-1.3%) to settle at 5268, whilst the CAC (-0.1%) and DAX (-0.6%) didn’t fare quite so badly.
Stateside, the Dow Jones slipped 73 points (-0.6%) to settle at 12369, whilst the S&P (-0.7%) and Nasdaq (-1.2%) were even weaker.
The Dow first edged higher as Facebook opened at $42.05, or 11% above its $38 initial public offering price, then fell when Facebook traded down to its intraday low of $38.
The Aussie dollar remained under pressure and is currently buying US$0.9825, whilst Canada’s dollar dropped the most since November, falling for a third straight week as concern Europe’s debt crisis will worsen overshadowed government data showing inflation and factory sales rose more than forecast.
Oil dropped to a six-month low in New York on concern that Greece will have to exit the euro system, compounding Europe’s debt troubles and curbing fuel demand.
Crude oil for June delivery fell $1.08 to $91.48 a barrel on the NYMEX, the lowest settlement since Oct. 26. Prices retreated 4.8% last week and are down 7.4% this year.
Elsewhere, Gold rose to a one-week high on renewed speculation that the US Fed will announce additional stimulus to boost the economy, increasing demand for the precious metal as an inflation hedge.
In company news, James Hardie has reported a US$140.4 million full year operating profit, a 20% rise on year. The result was slightly ahead of analyst expectations of US$137.7 million.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.