Business

Markets' worst opening week on record

Trader on Wall Street Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): Wall Street markets closed lower on Friday as concerns over oil prices and China outweighed positive US jobs figures.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 had their worst 5-day start to the year on record, both losing over 1% during Friday's trading.

The Dow Jones fell 167.65 points, or 1.02%, to 16,346.45.

The S&P 500 was down 21.06 points or 1.08% to 1,922.03 while the Nasdaq lost 45.80 points or 0.98% to 4,643.63.

US shares were hit hard this week by big falls in Chinese shares after trading was halted twice on the Shanghai market.

Better-than-expected jobs figures helped to lift the market in early trading. The non-farm payrolls figure showed the economy added 292,000 jobs in December.

The jobs report also showed the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5% in December, while October and November's figures were revised to show an extra 50,000 jobs were created.

But the figures were not enough to lift the markets as oil prices continued to spiral lower.

US crude reached $33.16 a barrel - the lowest point since 2004 - while Brent crude fell to $33.55 a barrel.

Petroleum linked stocks declined as a result. ExxonMobil finished 2% down and Chevron lost 1.1%.

Technology companies also suffered on Friday. Google's parent company Alphabet was down 1.6%.

One of the day's few winners was Campbell Soup, which rose 0.6% after the company announced it would label whether products contain genetically modified ingredients.

Campbell's is the first US company to take this step.