US markets close lower in May

<p>US stocks fell again overnight but pared back earlier losses in what turned out to be one of the worst months in years. The number […]</p>

US stocks fell again overnight but pared back earlier losses in what turned out to be one of the worst months in years.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose, putting a debt on upcoming jobs numbers. The pace of economic growth, despite record low rates, is again under question.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance payments increased by 10,000 to 383,000 in the week ended May 26, US Labor Department data showed today.

The S&P500 finished 0.2% lower after being down as much as 1%. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note decreased six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 1.56%. Australian yields fell to a record low yesterday and the Australian dollar managed to rise only slightly overnight, last buying 97.22 US cents.

The Euro remains sub 124 US cents, last at 123.63 with no confidence or trend breaking commentary coming out overnight.

On the other hand, the setup of the 17-country euro currency union is unsustainable, according to the head of the European Central Bank, who warned EU leaders that they must quickly come up with a broad vision for the future to get through the current crisis.

One source of optimism could be that Greece’s next election could see a strong voice for a resolution and less uncertainty, based on current polling. A new Greek opinion poll to be published on Friday showed the pro-bailout conservatives leading their leftist, anti-bailout rivals by 2.5 points.

Backing for the conservative New Democracy stood at 26.1% according to a poll conducted for newspaper Ta Nea. The SYRIZA party, which opposes the country’s international bailout, came second with 23.6%.

In commodities, gold remains flat at US$1559/oz while copper edged lower, back towards strong support of US$3.30/lb, last at US$3.36/lb.

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