Saturday, May 5, 2012

Shock US jobs update hits shares as Europe sinks again

Poor figures hint at slowdown in America's recovery as elections loom in France and Greece.

Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic saw heavy sell-offs yesterday in the wake of new figures that pointed to a faltering US recovery and the eurozone sinking still deeper into recession.

The US Labor Department reported that 115,000 new non-farm jobs were created in April, well below the 170,000 that analysts had been expecting.

This came hours after a regular snapshot of the manufacturing and services sectors across the single currency area showed the fastest decline in activity since last October, with deep contractions in the two most vulnerable nations, Italy and Spain.

The FTSE 100 shed 1.9 per cent in response to the set of bad news, while equity indexes in France and Germany were down 1.9 per cent and 1.99 per cent respectively. Wall Street fell by 1.2 per cent in morning trading. Read More