Wall Street ended a volatile session with a mixed performance on Friday night, as investors digested the latest reading on the US jobs market.
US stocks nosedived in the opening moments of trading following the non-farm payrolls data. The economy created 169,000 new jobs in August, less than the 180,000 forecasted by economists.
Compounding the disappointment were substantial downward revisions to the June and July employment figures.
The Dow plunged almost 150 points in the early hours of trading, with added selling pressure coming from a threat by Russian President Putin, to supply weapons to Syria’s regime in the event of a US military strike.
However, stocks recovered thereafter to finish the session almost square after President Obama appeared to make headway in gathering international support for a strike against Syria.
The Dow slipped 14 points (-0.1%) to 14923, the S&P500 was unchanged at 1655, whilst the Nasdaq eked out a one point gain to 3660.
There were some lofty gains in commodity markets. Oil surged 2% to a more than two year high of US$110.53 a barrel, amid concerns conflict in Syria will spill over into the wider Middle East region.
Gold settled 1% higher to US$1387 an ounce on the back of the Syria concerns, and as some investors questioned whether the Fed will stay the course with stimulus tapering despite the weak August jobs numbers.
In currency markets, the Aussie continued its winning run, gapping above the 92 US cent handle this morning after weekend data showed a strong rebound in August Chinese trade activity.
In economic news, the ANZ Job Advertisements Survey and Home Loans data are scheduled for release today at 11:30am, AEST.