World markets generally head lower ahead of release of US non-farm payrolls. WTI crude oil slides for a 3rd consecutive day as investors worry that poor employment data may signal delay in economic recovery. Currently trading at 75.7, the benchmark contract in crude oil has moved towards the lower end of recent trading range of 72-82.
Consensus forecast non-farm payrolls in the US fell -114K in November following a huge drop of -190K in the previous month. Unemployment rate probably stayed at 10.2%. Most of market participants believed that October's decline in payrolls was somehow too much and pullback this month is justified. Moreover, apart from positive jobless claims data released in recent weeks, seasonal adjustment might have also driven payrolls higher.
That said, an improvement is not certain. In fact, readings of some employment surveys were mixed. ISM manufacturing declined from its recent peak of 55.7 in October to 53.6 in November but employment component stayed above 50 for the second consecutive week. However, the major concern came from the services sector. Released Thursday, ISM non-manufacturing index slipped back into contraction territory and the employment component, at 41.6, remained poor.
Gold price also retreats after surging for 5 days and making a fresh high of 1227.5. Near-term overbought condition and broad-based decline in the commodity sector trigger the selloff. The benchmark contract currently trades at 1207 after sliding to 1201.4.
Stock markets also move lower. In Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost -0.3%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped -1.5% which the NZX 50 Index in New Zealand slid -0.2%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained +0.5% as Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is expected to announce some new stimulus measures today.
In European morning, UK's FTSE 100 Index slides -0.65 to 5279. Shares in Germany and France also plunge with both of DAX and CAC 40 Indices falling -0.5%.