Plus   Neg

European Markets Fall On U.S. Jobs Data

The European markets, which opened after a four-day break, are firmly in negative territory on Tuesday as investors reacted to the disappointing U.S. jobs data that was released on Good Friday. Lenders and miners are under pressure.

The Asian markets ended mixed while the U.S. index futures are higher before the beginning of the first-quarter reporting season.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 1.15 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is dropping 0.92 percent.

The German DAX is losing 0.92 percent and the French CAC 40 is falling 1.20 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is sliding 0.92 percent and Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.94 percent.

In Frankfurt, Daimler is losing 1.85 percent. Volkswagen and BMW are in negative territory.

Commerzbank is down 1.6 percent and Deutsche Bank is falling 0.5 percent.

JPMorgan cut Merck to "Underweight" from "Neutral." The stock is down about 1 percent.

Software AG is down 2.8 percent after JPMorgan reduced its price target for the stock.

Basf and Lufthansa are in positive territory. Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Basf.

In Paris, STMicroelectronics is declining 4.35 percent after cutting its gross margin outlook.

Renault and Peugeot are losing 3.8 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

Lenders Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are falling between 2.5 percent and 1.3 percent.

EDF is marginally higher reportedly after a broker upgrade.

Air France-KLM is slightly up. The airline reported higher traffic and capacity for March.

In London, Anglo American and Antofagasta are losing 1.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively. BHP Billiton is down 1.8 percent.

Vedanta is losing 2.2 percent. The India-focussed miner said iron ore sales in the fourth quarter declined from last year owing to a mining ban in a state in South India as well as transport problems.

Barclays is dropping 2 percent and Lloyds Banking is losing 1.5 percent.

Firstgroup is losing about 5 percent, reportedly after a broker downgrade.

Randgold Resources is surging 9.8 percent after the miner said its production forecast for 2012 remains unchanged despite the unrest in Mali.

British Sky Broadcasting is climbing 3.9 percent.

Thomas Cook is climbing over 10 percent after the tour operator confirmed talks on revised financing arrangements.

Akzo Nobel is up 0.85 percent in Amsterdam reportedly on a positive broker recommendation.

In economic news, Germany's merchandise trade surplus increased more than economists expected in February, data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed.

Meanwhile, France's gross domestic product remained flat in the first quarter, the Bank of France reiterated in a monthly survey report.

Eurozone investor confidence deteriorated for the first time in four months in April, results of a survey by the think tank Sentix showed. The confidence index came in at -14.7 in April compared to -8.2 in March and -11.1 in February.

Across Asia/Pacific, markets had a mixed outing. Australia's All Ordinaries dropped 0.65 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 1.15 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.09 percent after the Bank of Japan maintained its benchmark interest rate near zero and refrained from announcing additional stimulus amid signs that economic activity is gradually gathering pace.

China unexpectedly posted a trade surplus in March, as import growth slowed significantly despite government's efforts to shift towards domestic consumption-led economic growth. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.88 percent.

In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks saw continued weakness in negative reaction to Friday's monthly jobs report, generating broad-based selling pressure. The Dow fell 1 percent, the Nasdaq dropped 1.1 percent and the S&P 500 slid 1.1 percent.

In the commodity space, crude for May delivery is sliding $0.69 to $101.77 per barrel while June gold is losing $0.9 to $1643.0 a troy ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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