Global stocks falter as tech stays weak, dollar dips after three-day run

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global stocks fell for a second straight day on Friday and marked its biggest weekly percentage drop in nearly three months, while the dollar ran out of steam, ending a three-day run higher, after a U.S. payrolls report painted a weaker economic picture.

U.S. job growth slowed in August as financial aid from the government was depleted, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 1.371 million jobs versus 1.734 million in the prior month. Expectations were for the addition of 1.4 million jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 8.4% from 10.2%.

“It points in the right direction, but still leaves some question marks as 8.4% of unemployment is still a high rate,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York. “They certainly point to recovery, but yet a weak recovery.

On Wall Street, stocks remained under pressure for a second consecutive session, as technology shares again played an outsized role. The tech sector dropped 1.34% and suffered its biggest two-day percentage drop in almost six months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 159.42 points, or 0.56%, to 28,133.31, the S&P 500 lost 28.13 points, or 0.81%, to 3,426.93, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 144.97 points, or 1.27%, to 11,313.13.

U.S. markets are closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.13% to close down 2.03% on the week. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.95% to end the week and give the index its biggest weekly percentage drop since mid-June.

The U.S. dollar gave back initial gains following the jobs report and turned lower late in the session to snap a three-day run of gains off of two-year lows. The euro edged lower to continue its decline after breaching the $1.20 mark on Tuesday.

The dollar index fell 0.047%, with the euro down 0.08% to $1.1839.

U.S. Treasury yields climbed on the heels of the jobs report.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 29/32 in price to yield 0.7148%, from 0.622% late on Thursday.

Oil prices continued to weaken on demand concerns and were on track for their worst week since mid-June.

U.S. crude settled down 3.87% at $39.77 per barrel and Brent was at $42.66, down 3.2%, on the day.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Additional reporting by Sinéad Carew and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and Leslie Adler)