Stocks in the U.S. finished down 1 percent Friday, wiping out the previous session's gains, despite a better-than-expected government jobs report and amid nervousness ahead of next week's presidential election.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 139.46 points, or 1.05 percent, to close at 13,093.16 whilst the S&P500 dropped 13.39 points, or 0.94 percent, to end at 1,414.20. The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 37.93 points, or 1.26 percent, to finish at 2,982.13.
Stocks initially bounced at the open after a better-than-expected October government jobs report. Employers added 171,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected non-farm payrolls to rise by 125,000, an increase on September’s 114,000 gain.
The jobs report is the last issued before the presidential election on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, factory orders climbed 4.8 percent in September, according to the Commerce Department, edging past expectations. The increase was the biggest since March 2011.
Oil prices tumbled to session lows after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a temporary, blanket waiver of the Jones Act to allow foreign-flagged oil tankers from the Gulf of Mexico to help supply the Northeast with fuel, after Hurricane Sandy shut two refineries in the region. The waiver will run through Nov. 13, according to the department.
Early estimates of the economic impact of Hurricane Sandy put the total loss between $30 billion and $50 billion, making it one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.
Base metals closed lower on the London Metal Exchange (LME) amid US dollar strength exacerbated by a strong US employment reading. At the close of open-outcry trading on Friday, flagship base metal LME 3-month copper was 2.1 percent lower at $US7,665/ton.
European shares ended higher, but gains were limited amid renewed worries over Greece. Investors remain concerned divisions in the debt-ridden nation's ruling coalition will prevent an austerity bill passing through parliament next week, marring the country’s prospects of receiving its next bailout tranche.
Major currencies eased against the US dollar over European and US sessions. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.2935 to US$1.2820, and ended US trade near US$1.2835. The Aussie dollar eased from highs near US104.00c to US103.25c and ended US trade near US103.30c. And the Japanese yen eased from 80.20 yen per US dollar to JPY80.66 before ending US trade near JPY80.44.
Ahead in economic news, the Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index for October, the Dun and Bradstreet business expectations survey, the ANZ job advertisements series for October and the Australian Bureau of Statistics' figures for international trade in goods and services for September, plus retail trade for September are all due to be released. In both China and the US the services gauge is released.
In equities news, Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) is expected to post full-year results.