The Australian sharemarket has the jitters this morning, falling more than 2% as fears that the US will slide into recession are fuelled by weak jobs data.
The S&P/ASX200 index was down 1.9% mid morning to 6186.9 before falling further to 6173.1 at 12.20pm today.
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The fall was widely expected after the US Labor Department reported that jobs in November had grown by just 18,000, with the US unemployment rate jumping from 4.7% to 5%, a two year high. The bad data fuelled speculation that the US Federal Reserve may be forced to cut interest rates by half a percentage point at its 30 January meeting.
The US equity markets fell last Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 1.96%, losing almost 2%, while the S&P500 was off 2.46% and the NASDAQ shed 3.77%.
The Australian dollar has meanwhile opened lower. At 7.00am, the Australian dollar was trading at $US0.8719 from Friday’s close of $US0.8811 before rising to $US0.8734 at 12.30pm today.