Monday, March 9, 2009

US unemployment at record high; Wall Street ends mixed while Asia trading mixed; Hang Seng, Nikkei down

The Wall Street played around in both negative and positive terrain but ended mixed — and close to flat — on Friday after a volatile session. Economic data, however, continued to be bleak as the February jobs report indicated employers cut jobs by 6.51 lakh and unemployment climbed to a more-than-expected 8.1%, a 25-year high.

At close, the Dow Jones ended at 6,626 up 0.5% or 32.50 points. The S&P 500 ended in positive territory, though still below the 700 mark, at 683.38, up 0.83 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended lower by 0.4% at 1,293.

Commodity check

Oil rose over 4% on expectations that producer group OPEC could reduce output again outweighed weak US economic data. Oil prices also got a boost from news that the US dollar dipped against the euro on news of sharp employment cuts last month.

Gold put on some weight on safe-haven buying and topped the USD 940 per ounce mark. Silver gained too.

Copper prices rose, capping the second straight weekly gain on renewed optimism that demand will climb in China.


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