Australia Markets closed

Rough ride tipped for Aussie stocks

The Australian stock market faces a bleak start to the trading week on Monday after the crash in international indexes on Friday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 275 points as traders flocked to the safety of bonds, forcing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to a record low.

It was the Dow's sharpest one-day drop since November.

Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite index both fell more than three per cent, while European stock markets again slumped.

The Australian dollar sank to its lowest mark against the greenback in almost eight months, hitting 96.34 US cents before clawing back to trade close to 97 US cents mid-afternoon on Saturday.

Australian shares posted their worst month in May for two years, shedding about 7.3 per cent or around $100 billion.

US jobs figures for May, released on Friday, showed the unemployment rate climbing to 8.2 per cent and a third straight month of faltering job growth.

American employers hired just an extra 69,000 people last month, the fewest in a year. Economists had forecast a gain of 158,000 jobs.

London's benchmark index FTSE100 fell 1.1 per cent, France's CAC40 dropped 2.2 per cent and Germany's Dax plummeted 3.4 per cent.

Australian resource companies face a tough start to next week, especially those in the energy sector, after oil prices sank 3.8 per cent in New York to the lowest level in eight months.

BHP Billiton shares fell 0.8 per cent in New York trading, while Rio Tinto's US-listed shares fell 1.2 per cent.