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World stocks extend losses as US hiring data weakens

WT24 Desk

NEW YORK- Global stock markets extended their sell-off Wednesday as disappointing US jobs figures added to concerns about slowing global growth, AFP reports. Payrolls group ADP estimated US private-sector hiring at just 156,000 jobs in April, down from 194,000 in March.

The market overlooked other, more upbeat US data, such as a report showing accelerating services-sector activity in April. “The market is extremely morose today in reaction to macro-economic data that are not as good as expected,” said Michael Jacoby, head of continental European trading at Oddo Securities.

London’s FTSE led Europe’s main bourses into negative territory Wednesday,closing 1.2 percent lower, with Paris’ CAC and the DAX in Frankfurt following closely behind. In the US, the broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.6 percent. The disappointing US figures came on the heels of releases Tuesday showing sluggish manufacturing activity in China and a lower growth forecast for the eurozone.

“The US market has mirrored the declines overseas the last two days as more questions have been raised about European growth, or the lack thereof,” said Michael James managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities. The weak ADP report raised fears about Friday’s more important Department of Labor April jobs report, James said.

“You see people take risk exposure off to prepare themselves for a possible worst-case scenario on Friday,” he said.  Oil prices drifted sideways with US futures slightly higher but London slipping amid news that US oil output fell by another 100,000 barrels a day last week.

The dollar rose modestly against the euro and the yen. British-listed shares of miner BHP Billiton sank 5.8 percent after Brazilian prosecutors slapped it with a $43-billion lawsuit over November’s deadly Samarco dam disaster that killed 19 people and wreaked environmental havoc.

Airline shares tumbled after Air France-KLM warned that the industry outlook was “highly uncertain” due to various factors, including volatile fuel prices and industry overcapacity in some markets.  Air France lost 4.3 percent, Germany’s Lufthansa dropped 2.5 percent and American Airlines shed 4.0 percent.

Biotech company Medivation rose 2.7 percent following a report that it was approached by Pfizer about a possible takeover. Medivation last week rejected an unsolicited bid from French giant Sanofi. Pfizer lost 0.9 percent and US shares of Sanofi fell 1.9 percent.

– Key figures around 2100 GMT –

New York – Dow: DOWN 0.6 percent at 17,651.26 (close)
New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.6 percent at 2,051.12 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 0.8 percent at 4,725.64 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 1.2 percent at 6,112.02 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 1.0 percent at 9,828.25 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 1.1 percent at 4,324.23 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.2 percent at 2,938.75 (close)
Hong Kong: DOWN 0.7 percent at 20,525.83 (close)
Shanghai: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,991.27 (close)
Tokyo: Nikkei: Closed for public holiday
Tokyo: Nikkei 225: Closed for public holiday
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1488 from $1.1507 Tuesday
Dollar/yen: UP at 107.03 yen from 106.63 yen

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