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Weak job growth slams Wall Street

Washington - Stocks slumped on Wall Street Friday as weaker than expected job growth pointed to sluggishness on the labour market.

The US unemployment rate fell to 8.1 per cent in April, even as the number of new jobs slowed and more people quit looking for work, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said.

The economy added 115,000 jobs in April, the smallest gain in six months. The number of new jobs fell far short of economists’ estimates of an anticipated 160,000 jobs.

The unemployment figure was down slightly from March, when it stood at 8.2 per cent.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 168.32 points, or 1.27 per cent, to 13,038.27. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 22.47 points, or 1.61 per cent, to 1,369.1. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 67.96 points, or 2.25 per cent, to 2,956.34.

For the week, the Dow was down 1.44 per cent, the S&P lost 2.44 per cent and the Nasdaq plunged 3.68 per cent.

The US currency rose against the euro to 76.43 euro cents from 76.04 euro cents on Thursday. The dollar slid against the Japanese currency to 79.85 yen from 80.2 yen.//DPA




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