Dollar, stocks fall on revived growth worries

Fri Jan 9, 2015 4:19pm EST
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar eased on Friday after a U.S. labor market report suggested a go-slow approach to raising interest rates, while global equity markets fell on more weak data from Europe, adding to worries about tepid growth around the world.

Crude oil slipped under $50 a barrel as Brent, the global benchmark, posted a seventh straight weekly loss. Gold rose and notched its first weekly gain in four weeks as political uncertainty in Greece boosted demand for safe-haven assets.

Also weighing on investors was a Reuters report that raised concerns that prospective European Central Bank bond-buying may fall short of the unlimited money-printing program investors have expected.

"The news out of the ECB this morning, this leaking out about what the program may look like, people are disappointed because they don't think it is big enough, so that is causing some pullback," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.

Investors are still concerned about the impact of lower oil prices and how that might expose certain trades in the financial markets, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

"Somebody's going to cry 'uncle,' we just don't know who it is yet," he said.

Data from Germany highlighted weakness in the euro zone, which is still struggling to emerge from the region's long-simmering economic crisis. German exports fell sharply in November and industrial output also declined.

U.S. job growth increased briskly in December and the jobless rate dropped to a 6-1/2-year low. But wages slipped from November, buttressing the case for the Federal Reserve not to rush to raise interest rates.   Continued...

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the German share price index DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange on December 22, 2014.  REUTERS/Remote/Pawel Kopczynski