RTTNews - The Australian stock market ended in the negative territory on Friday mirroring Wall Street losses after weak employment report dented recovery hopes.

In the U.S, disappointing employment data for June dragged the indices sharply lower amid fresh concerns about growth prospects. A Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 467,000 jobs in June following a revised decrease of 322,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected a decrease of about 365,000 jobs compared to the loss of 345,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. Amid the weak employment report, traders shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing that orders for manufactured goods rose 1.2% in May following a downwardly revised 0.5% increase in April. Economists had expected orders to rise 0.9% compared to the 0.7% increase originally reported for the previous month.

The Dow closed down by 223.32 points or 2.6% at 8,281, the Nasdaq fell by 49.20 points or 2.7% to 1,797, and the S&P 500 closed down 26.91 points or 2.9% at 896.

The All Ordinaries Index opened lower at 3,860 compared to previous close at 3,875 and drifted sharply lower, mirroring Wall Street losses. The index continued to move sidewards following sharp drop and finally ended the day in the negative territory with a a loss of 48.60 points, or 1.25%, at 3,827. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended at 3,828, representing a loss of 49.10 points, or 1.27%.

On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australia Industry Group and the Commonwealth Bank revealed that service sector activity expanded for the first time in 15 months in June, on the back of rising consumer confidence, low interest rates and the government's stimulus package. The seasonally adjusted Performance of Services Index rose 10.3 points from the previous month to 50.2 in June, marginally above the threshold level of 50.

Metal stocks ended lower following lower metal prices in London Metal Exchange. BHP Billiton lost 2.54%, Rio Tinto fell 4.15%, Oz Minerals shed 2.82% and Minara Resources declined 2.52%.

Among oil companies, Woodside Petroleum edged down 0.55%, and Santos fell 1.88% and Oil Search lost 1.10%.

Gold stocks also ended weaker. Lihir Gold lost 2.68%, Newcrest Mining fell 2.88%, and Sino Gold declined 2.65%.

Mixed trading was witnessed among the financial stocks. While ANZ Bank edged up 0.12%, Commonwealth Bank Australia slipped 0.61%, and Westpac Banking lost 1.33%. National Australia Bank however remained unchanged from previous close.

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