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Financial ETFs Lose on Weak Jobs Data

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Financial ETFs were prominent losers on Thursday after initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose to 479,000.

Stocks across sectors came under pressure on the weak job outlook. However, banking stocks suffered more as investors worry that continued weakness in the economy will translate into continued depression in loan demand. Buying in the second half trimmed losses, but most financial ETFs still finished in the red.

Regional banking ETFs took a knock, with the iShares Dow Jones US Regional Banks (IAT) shedding 0.6% to $23.07. Its top holdings include U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report) down 1.1%, and PNC Financial Services (PNC - Get Report), down 0.3%. The SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE), which has a higher exposure to mid-cap regional bank stocks, was down 0.9%.

Weak job numbers was also bad news for consumer stocks. The SPDR S&P International Consumer Staples (IPS) is shedding 1.5%. Lackluster same-store sales drove the SPDR Retail ETF (XRT) lower by 0.7% in morning trading, but the ETF recovered some of its losses in the latter half, ending lower by 0.2%.

Oil ETFs trended lower. The United States Oil Fund (USO), which tracks oil futures, is down 0.5% at $36.71. But it was rising slightly in aftermarket trading.

The usually volatile US Natural Gas ETF (UNG) was a prominent loser in Thursday trading, shedding 2.4% .

-- Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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Copyright 2010 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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UNG $7.79 3.30%
KRE $34.37 -2.60%
XRT $38.61 -1.30%
PNC $81.80 -2.10%
USB $39.53 -1.40%


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