Euro Stock Markets Slip on Growth Fears

10 Apr 2012

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 European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi


European stocks fell in early trading as investors were given their first chance after the Easter break to react to Friday's disappointing US jobs data, reports the BBC.

France's Cac 40 index fell 1.5%, while the UK's FTSE 100 and Germany's Dax lost about 1%.

Italian shares fell by almost 3% on media reports the government was about to cut its growth forecast.

Investors also had an eye on mixed Chinese data showing a rise in exports but a sharp fall in imports.

Figures released on Friday by the US Labour Department showed the smallest growth in employment in five months.

The US economy added 120,000 jobs during March, less than the 200,000 widely predicted by analysts.

The figures raised fears about the strength of the recovery in the US economy.

"Opening losses for European stocks markets this morning are suggestive of the heavy, negative overhang from last Friday's disappointing US payrolls report," said Jane Foley at Rabobank International.

On Tuesday, official data released by China also raised questions about the strength of the world's second-largest economy.

Exports in March grew by 8.9% from a year earlier, indicating that global demand may be picking up.

However, imports grew by 5.3%, down from a 39.6% jump last month, raising fears about slowing domestic demand.

The world's second-largest exporter, Germany, also released figures on Tuesday showing an increase in exports.

Exports rose by 1.6% in February from a month earlier, and by 8.6% year-on-year. Imports grew by 3.9% on the month, and by 6.1% on the year.

German firms had the most success in markets outside the eurozone, where they sold 13.4% more goods than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the interest rate on Spanish bonds traded in the secondary market continued to rise.

The yield on 10-year bonds hit 5.84%, up from 5.74% on Monday, indicating that investors are getting increasingly concerned about Spain's ability to repay its debts.

Spain has introduced a raft of tough austerity measures in recent weeks, partly in an attempt to calm investors' nerves and bring yields down.

Tags: Business, World, Euro, Stock Markets

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