European shares fell on Monday, weighed down by worries over a looming cash crunch in Greece, while the dollar rebounded after concern over the U.S. economy drove the currency to four-month lows on Friday.
The dollar fell on Thursday to its weakest against a basket of major currencies since the European Central Bank announced a program of quantitative easing in January, hit by growing concern that the U.S. economy has not just been suffering from a winter chill.
U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Monday after the markets leapt on Friday on strong jobs data that showed the U.S. economy was picking up steam, but not by enough to raise concerns about an earlier-than-expected interest-rate rise.
The U.S. Comex gold futures dropped $11 in the past two days and ended at $1,182.20 on Thursday. While the gold futures were up 0.66% for the week, the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.89%, the Euro Stoxx 50 Index fell 1.20%, and the U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.69%.
Sterling was the biggest gainer amongst major currencies on Friday, hitting its highest in over two months against the dollar, on relief that the Conservative Party was set for a surprise outright win at the British national election.
The euro zone's position on the Greek debt negotiations has not changed and Athens must commit to its current bailout program before any debt relief can be considered, the head of the Eurogroup said on Friday.
The pound, British shares and bonds rallied on Friday after Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party won a shock election victory, removing immediate political uncertainty for investors who had expected a hung parliament.
The euro hit a ten-week peak on Thursday, tracking European bond yields higher and benefiting from a sell-off in the dollar after weak U.S. jobs data added to speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay raising interest rates.