Friday, May 4, 2012

Global shares, oil fall before U.S. payrolls

(Reuters) - European shares lost ground on Friday and Brent oil sank towards its steepest weekly fall this year, ahead of a reading on the U.S. jobs market that could heighten concerns about the health of the world's biggest economy.

Investors also kept a wary eye on weekend elections in the euro zone, with evidence of a sharp contraction in the region's dominant services sector suggesting its recession could last longer than feared.

Voting in France and Greece is likely to provide a litmus test of popular tolerance for further austerity, a day after the European Central Bank ended near-term hopes of more policy easing to boost the ailing economy.

The FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top European shares dropped 0.35 percent by 1055 GMT while U.S. stocks were expected to open flat with the DJIA future up 0.02 percent. Read More