* U.S. dollar climbs above 100 yen
* Gold off 1 percent as U.S. jobless data, strong dollar
* S&P 500 snaps five-day winning streak
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, May 9 The U.S. dollar broke through
100 yen on Thursday, its highest level against the currency in
over four years, while stocks in major markets slipped from
recent record levels.
Investors sold the low-yielding yen as support from central
banks around the world continued to push cash into
higher-yielding assets. U.S. stocks fell slightly after recent
gains from a rally that had taken the S&P 500 index to record
highs for five straight sessions.
The dollar got support from U.S. data showing first-time
applications for unemployment insurance fell last week to the
lowest level in more than five years.
"A stampede out of safety and brightening U.S. job prospects
helped catapult the dollar over the key triple-digit threshold
against the yen," Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western
Union Business Solutions in Washington, said in a note.
The yen is on track for eight straight months of declines
against the greenback, shedding more than 30 percent since its
September high near 77. A major stimulus program by the Bank of
Japan last month to revive the economy has helped prolong the
yen's weakening trend.
U.S. stocks slipped but the recent uptrend remains intact,
giving room for declines after the strong climb.
"This market is so stretched to the upside that if we get
some little wiggle somewhere, I can easily see us getting back
down to 1,580" on the S&P 500, said Stephen Massocca, managing
director of Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.
Pullbacks in U.S. equities have been short-lived and shallow
even as traders have said the market could benefit from a
correction. The expectation of continued accommodative monetary
policy from central banks globally has sustained support for
At the close the Dow Jones industrial average fell
22.5 points or 0.15 percent, to 15,082.62, the S&P 500
lost 6.02 points or 0.37 percent, to 1,626.67 and the Nasdaq
Composite dropped 4.1 points or 0.12 percent, to
The Euro STOXX 50 index dropped 0.4 percent,
retreating from a near two-year high but finding support at an
upward trendline from lows hit on April 18. The pan-European
FTSEurofirst closed flat to stay near five-year highs.
The MSCI world index, which tracks stocks in
45 countries, was down 0.7 percent after earlier hitting its
highest level since June 2008.
GREENBACK RISES BROADLY
The U.S. dollar rose against major currencies almost
1 percent and above its 14- and 50-day moving averages.
The yen closed the session down 1.6 percent at 100.59 per
The euro was down 0.8 percent at $1.3045 after
earlier hitting a high of $1.3177.
The euro was pressured by slightly softer-than-expected
demand at a Spanish debt auction, while Spanish government bond
Brent crude edged up in volatile trade and U.S. crude
settled slightly down, as investors weighed Middle East tensions
against weak demand and high inventories.
U.S. oil fell 23 cents to settle at $96.39 a barrel
and was down further in extended trading. Brent crude
edged up 13 cents to settle at $104.47 per barrel and later
dropped 9 cents to $104.25.
Brent has dipped from a one-month high of $105.94 touched on
Tuesday after Israeli air strikes on Syria over the weekend
stoked supply fears.
"There's a tug of war here; the demand is not going to be
there, but the economy is slowly improving," said Mark Waggoner,
president at Excel Futures in Bend, Oregon.
Saudi Arabia increased crude oil output by 160,000 barrels
per day to 9.3 million bpd in April, industry sources said this
week, adding to an already well-supplied global market.
Spanish bond yields rose on speculation Madrid may be
planning another bond sale after borrowing costs fell at
Thursday's auction of just over 4.5 billion euros of new debt.
The country's 10-year bond yields were 8 basis points higher
at 4.195 percent, having moved away from the
2-1/2 year lows of 3.954 percent touched last Friday.
Prices for U.S. Treasuries were flat as investors balanced
stronger-than-expected jobs data with expectations that riskier
assets such as equities could see a correction soon.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield inched up
to 1.811 percent, the highest in nearly a month. The U.S.
30-year bond traded down 5/32 to yield 2.994 percent
from 2.987 percent late on Wednesday.
Gold prices fell after the U.S. jobs data, with dollar
strength weakening the price further. Spot gold was down
1 percent to $1,456.69. The metal gained 1.4 percent in the
previous session, its biggest one-day rise in two weeks.