European stocks drop before US payrolls

GMT 15:41 2015 Friday ,06 February

Arab Today, arab today European stocks drop before US payrolls

Europe's main stock markets
London - AFP

Europe's main stock markets fell Friday in cautious trade before key US payrolls data and amid ongoing anxiety over Greece, dealers said.
Nearing midday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped 0.34 percent to 6,842.40 points, with sentiment also hit by news of Britain's widening annual trade deficit.
Elsewhere, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shed 0.77 percent to 10,821 points and in Paris the CAC 40 reversed 0.45 percent to 4,682.30 compared with Thursday's close.
In foreign exchange activity, the euro declined to $1.1451 from $1.1475 late in New York on Thursday.
The eagerly-awaited January jobs report, due at 1330 GMT, is expected to show the US economy added 235,000 jobs, a slowdown from December, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.6 percent, according to analysts' forecasts.
"Stocks are drifting lower as nervous investors await key US jobs data later today," said Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at online broker Interactive Investor.
"With analysts looking at a predicted range of anywhere between 200,000 and 300,000 we should be in for a volatile afternoon."
On Thursday, European equities had shrugged off concerns about Greece after the European Central Bank (ECB) restricted Greek banks' access to a key source of cash, while Germany signalled its unwillingness to reduce Athens' debt.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Finance Minister Yaris Varoufakis, whose radical left Syriza party stormed to power in elections on January 25, have gone on a tour of major European capitals this week to build support for a renegotiation of the country's bailout.
"With the unsuccessful Greek-Euro tour over, Varoufakis returned back to a Greek nation last night still firmly behind their new leaders," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
"However, the lack of progress in negotiating a deal, something that looked so promising at the start of the week, has taken its toll on the markets."
Greece's 240-billion-euro ($275-billion) EU-IMF bailout is due to expire on February 28, leaving just weeks for Athens and Brussels to reach a compromise or risk seeking Greece crash out of the euro.
- 'Rose-tinted' Greek plan -
"Syriza’s rose-tinted plan to renegotiate Greece’s current debt agreement has met with a decidedly unenthusiastic response from the ECB," added ETX Capital analyst Daniel Sugarman.
"Despite populist speeches by Mr Tsipras stressing an end to Greek economic humiliation, the ECB's very public refusal to accept any further Greek bonds may go some way towards ending the illusion that this is a negotiation between equals rather than between debtor and creditor."
Next Wednesday, meanwhile, eurozone finance ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting in Brussels to discuss the stand-off over Greece's bailout, on the eve of an EU summit.
On the corporate front in London on Thursday, Britain's Poundland on Friday snapped up rival group 99p Stores for £55 million ($84 million, 74 million euros).
The group, which floated on the London stock market last year, announced in a statement that it has agreed to buy the family-owned 99p Stores chain in a cash-and-shares deal.



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