It was a horror night for international markets on Friday night, with eurozone worries and weaker than expected US jobs numbers weighing on sentiment.
Stocks plummeted after a dismal US jobs report added to fears that Europe’s spiralling debt crisis is dragging down the world economy.
In Europe, the UK’s FTSE 100 shed 61 points (-1.1%) to settle at 5260, whilst the CAC (-2.2%) and DAX (-3.4%) suffered even heavier falls.
Stateside, the Dow Jones plummeted 275 points (-2.2%) to settle at 12119, whilst the S&P (-2.5%) and NASDAQ (-2.8%) endured similar declines.
Data showed employers created just 69,000 jobs last month, the weakest in a year and well below expectations.
The bleak May jobs report capped a week of soft economic data from China and growing problems in Europe as Spain’s bank crisis deepened.
The Aussie dollar tumbled below the 97 handle and this morning is buying US$0.9660.
On Friday night the yen rose against most of its major counterparts on safe-haven buying after the US added the least jobs in a year last month, adding to concern global growth is stagnating.
Commodities extended their decline, falling to the lowest level in almost eight months, after US employers created fewer jobs than economists estimated and Chinese manufacturing slowed.
Crude fell to the lowest level in almost eight months as employment reports in the US and the euro area signalled fuel demand may tumble.
Oil dropped 3.8% after the Labor Department said American employers added the fewest workers in a year in May.
Crude futures for July delivery declined $3.30 to $83.23 a barrel on the NYMEX, the lowest settlement since Oct. 7. Prices are down 2% from this year’s closing high of $109.77 on Feb. 24.
Elsewhere, copper eked out a modest 0.1% gain whilst gold was the big winner, rallying 3.6% amid the prospect of further quantitative easing from the Fed. Bullion settled at US$1622 an ounce.
In company news, Brambles is in a trading halt after announcing that it will undertake $450 million fully underwritten capital raising.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the Melbourne Institute inflation gauge (11:00am, AEST), ANZ job advertisements and company operating profits (11:30am, AEST).