8 Mar 2009

Late rebound on US sharemarket

4:19 pm on 8 March 2009

US stocks mostly rose on Friday, with the Dow and S&P indices rebounding late in the day as oil prices lifted energy stocks.

Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron topped the Dow as the price of oil rose 4.4%, or $1.91, to settle at $US45.52 a barrel on expectations that OPEC could again reduce output.

Chevron rose 3.2% to $58.27 and Exxon gained 2.9% to $64.03.

Financial shares came off their lows after the Wall Street Journal reported that Lloyds Banking Group and the British government had agreed on an asset protection scheme.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 32.50 points, or 0.49%, to 6626.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up just 0.83 of a point, or 0.12%, to 683.38. But the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.74 points, or 0.44%, to 1293.85.

A 4% slide in Apple Inc shares helped keep the Nasdaq under water, dragging it to a six-year intra-day low.

Europe stocks hit 12-year lows

European shares ended lower after a volatile session on Friday as US unemployment figures underlined economic worries and investors dumped financial stocks.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 1.3% lower at 662.13 points to a fresh 12-year low. The index lost about 8% during the week.

Banks and insurers were the worst losers, while commodity stocks were the best performers.