Friday, May 4, 2012

European shares fall sharply as U.S. outlook worsens

(Reuters) - European shares fell sharply on Friday after worse-than-expected jobs data from the United States dealt a fresh blow to recovery expectations for the world's largest economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index provisionally closed down 17.32 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,027.07 points and the Euro STOXX 50 index fell 37.83 points, also 1.7 percent, to 2,249.27 .STOXX50E.

Equities extended losses in the afternoon, when data showed U.S. employers cut back on hiring in April, further raising doubts about economic momentum in Europe's largest export market after an already weak services sector report on Thursday. (ID:nL1E8G414Y)

Cyclical sectors were the worst hit, with basic resources .SXPP and automotives .SXAP falling 3.9 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Source