European stock markets drop on eurozone, US data

GMT 15:48 2015 Friday ,07 August

Arab Today, arab today European stock markets drop on eurozone, US data

European stock markets
London - AFP

Europe's main stock markets edged down slightly on Friday following poorly received eurozone data and as investors digested a mixed US jobs report.

"Disappointing French and German industrial production figures, posted before European markets started trading, have ensured a dominance of red on trading screens," said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG trading group.

Later Friday dealers learned of the mixed US jobs report for July that showed the economy added fewer jobs than expected, but with unemployment holding steady at 5.3 percent.

In mid-afternoon deals following the news, Frankfurt's DAX 30 was down 0.41 percent to stand at 11,537.64 points and the CAC 40 in Paris was 0.26 percent lower to 5,178.73.

Outside the eurozone, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slipped 0.31 percent to 6,726.02 points compared with Thursday's close.

The euro dipped to $1.0871 from $1.0923 late in New York on Thursday.

European stocks ended lower on Thursday. However, after losing nearly 20 percent in the previous three days following a five-week closure, Greece's ATHEX index finished 3.65 percent higher.

And it was rising another 1.77 percent in mid-afternoon trading Friday.

- 'Not decidedly weak' -

The contrasting numbers in the new US labour statistics showed a July jobs gain of 215,000 -- a bit below the 229,000 projected by analysts, but accompanied by an upgraded estimate for June to 231,000 from 223,000.

That contrast partially explained the continued hesitation of markets waiting for clarity on US interest rate hikes.

"There are some openings to pick holes in this report," said analyst Patrick O'Hare, who nonetheless expects the US Federal Reserve to lift interest rates soon.

"The understanding that the report was not decidedly weak is apt to keep the Federal Reserve on a desired track to raise the fed funds rate soon -- and most likely in September in our estimation," O'Hare said.

Investors on Wall Street were also torn on the jobs report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.27 percent at 17,373.18 points five minute into trade.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.30 percent to 2,077.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.50 percent to 5,030.91.

Back In Europe, official data showed that Germany's industrial output fell 1.4 percent and exports from the continent's top economy dropped by one percent in June from the previous month.

Many German companies are struggling with China's slowdown and recent volatility over the Greece crisis, despite the benefits of a low euro, cheap oil and rock-bottom interest rates.

Asian stock markets ended mixed on Friday as investors awaited the US jobs figures and after the Bank of Japan held fire on a fresh round of stimulus.

After a two-day meeting, the Bank of Japan held off fresh easing measures, saying the world's number three economy was steadily recovering. Analysts widely expect policymakers to act later in the year.

Tokyo capped a second weekly advance ending 0.29 percent higher. Sydney fell sharply losing 2.41 percent, and Seoul closed 0.15 percent lower.

Hong Kong and China shares rebounded after the previous day's losses, with the Hang Seng Index closing up 0.73 percent, while Shanghai ended the day 2.26 percent higher.

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