US stocks lost ground ahead of the weekend after a disappointing jobs report showed that job creation had slowed despite the lowest level of unemployment in eight years.
The Aussie dollar had a tumble against the greenback which took heart from the unemployment figures with local stocks expected to continue their losing streak when the market opens here.
US economic news
The US Labor department reported 151,000 jobs were created in January which was below analyst expectations of 189,000 jobs but took the unemployment rate to just 4.9 per cent, its lowest level since February 2008.
Wall Street closed lower ahead of the weekend The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.3 per cent to close at 16,205, the S&P 500 retreated 1.9 per cent to close at 1,880 and the NASDAQ lost 3.3 per cent to close at 4,363.
European markets also closed down: London’s FTSE shed 0.9 per cent, Paris lost 0.7 per cent and Frankfurt dropped 1.1 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei slipped 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.55 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite ended 0.6 per cent lower.
The Australian share market closed 4 points lower to 4,976 on Friday to be 29 points lower on the week.:. On the futures market the SPI is 56 points down.
The Australian Dollar at 7:20AM was buying 70.8 US cents, 48.84 Pence Sterling, 82.77 Yen and 63.51 Euro cents.
Due out today from ANZ are job ads for January
McAleese Limited (ASX:MCS)
has responded to media speculation on an imminent announcement of a recapitalization of the struggling transport company. McAleese confirmed it is in talks with multiple parties and expects an update by the end of the month. The company also expects to write down of between $35 -$55 million in assets. McAleese last traded 1.92 per cent higher at $0.053.
BKI Investment Company Limited (AX:BKI) said it has acquired two unlisted investment companies with around $15 million in net assets. The two transactions will be a scrip deal with the company flagging more deals of a similar nature. Shares in BKI Investments last traded 1.84 per cent higher at $1.66.
One company is trading ex-dividend today, Katana Capital will pay 1.5 cents fully-franked.
Gold has added 20 cents to $1,158 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. Silver has slipped 7 cents to $14.78 for March. Copper has dropped 3 cents to $2.10 a pound. Oil has slipped $0.83 to US$30.89 a barrel for March light crude in New York.