Global Markets Plunge on U.S. Jobs Data

Stock markets dived across the world on Friday due to a combination of weak labor market statistics from the U.S., China and the EU and oil prices fall.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index fell 1.20 percent to 5,257.27, Germany’s DAX decreased 3.47 percent to 6,046.74 and France’s CAC 40 went down 2.24 percent to 2,949.41 as of 18:48 Moscow time [14:48 GMT].

On the Russian stock market, the ruble-denominated MICEX had fallen 0.64 percent to 1,298.08 points at the close of the trading session on Friday, by 18:44 p.m. Moscow time, while the dollar-denominated RTS was down 1.22 percent to 1,227.32.

U.S. unemployment rate in May rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April, although the number of jobs in non-agricultural industries increased by 69,000. The data was worse than expected, with analysts forecasting unemployment to stay at 8.1 percent and number of jobs in the non-agricultural sector to grow by 150,000.

In addition, consumer incomes in the U.S. in April 2012 increased by 0.2 percent compared to March, below the expected 0.3 percent.

Investor sentiment was also undermined by the European Purchasing Managers’ Index fell 0.8 to 45.1 points in May from the previous month.

The PMI, a composite indicator of the manufacturing economy, signals growth when above 50 points and contraction when below, flagging continuing weak crude demand in Russia’s largest trade partner.

Also clouding the economic horizon was a weak PMI figure from China, which posted a May reading of 50.4, its weakest in five months.

Brent for July settlement fell to $99.61 a barrel on mid-Friday, the lowest level since October 4 when it stood at $99.11, before nudging back over $100.


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