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International markets roundup

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Published on: Monday, February 08, 2016

SYDNEY, AAP - A roundup of trading on major world markets:

NEW YORK - The Nasdaq Composite that includes large-cap technology names like Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook has led another broad rout on Wall Street, closing at its lowest level since October 2014.

Many stocks that had led on the way up in 2015 led the way down this week. Recent earnings and economic reports, including a tepid jobs report, seemed to confirm investors' fear that the US economy, and corporate spending, are slowing.

Dismal sales forecasts from marquee technology names sent some high-profile shares crashing as investors questioned whether information-technology managers would keep spending on their products.

Friday's action suggests some hedge funds may be taking a harder look at valuations.

"There's a lot of portfolio de-risking going on and high valuation securities are often the first to be sold. It's also the securities that have done extremely well," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.

"It's a valuation call and it shows concern for the overall market."

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 211.61 points, or 1.29 per cent, to 16,204.97, the S&P 500 lost 35.4 points, or 1.85 per cent, to 1,880.05 and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 146.42 points, or 3.25 per cent, to 4,363.14.

LONDON - Britain's top share index has lost ground as investors digested a weaker-than-expected US jobs reading, with miners pulled lower as copper dipped.

Trading was choppy following a US jobs report which disappointed market consensus, with the US non-farm payrolls figure coming in lower than expected at 151,000, as opposed to an expected increase of 190,000.

"It just adds to the picture ... of uncertainty with respect to global growth, rather than giving us some reassurance," Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index, said.

The commodity-heavy index was pegged back as the US dollar rallied, causing metals prices to drop.

Analysts said that some aspects of the report were more encouraging, muddying the picture of the strength of the US economy.

"Immediate reaction in the market has not necessarily followed the headline numbers - it's followed the underlying strength in the US jobs market shown by the unexpectedly strong rise in average hourly earnings," City Index's Odeluga said.

HONG KONG - Asian stocks were subdued and the us dollar wobbled ahead of the closely watched US non farm payrolls jobs report.

Shanghai stocks, crawled up 0.2 per cent and Australian shares dipped 0.1 per cent. Japan's Nikkei underperformed, dropping 1.4 per cent and headed for its fourth straight day of losses.

"The biggest concern for the Japanese market now is whether the dollar will weaken against the yen further," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

"You don't know how US stocks will perform after the jobs data release, so most investors are nervous."

Hong Kong's Hang Seng drew cues from an overnight Wall Street bounce and rose 0.8 per cent, while other gainers included Malaysian and Singapore shares.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 per cent. The index was still on track to end the week roughly unchanged.

WELLINGTON - The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 16.09 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,153.80.


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