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European Shares Fall Ahead Of US Jobs Data

asian martket down 121418 08mar19 lt

European stocks were moving lower on Friday as caution set in ahead of the all-important U.S. jobs report due tonight that might show a moderation in hiring due to external uncertainties.

Investors remained concerned about weakening global growth after the European Central Bank ramped up its stimulus program and China reported worse than expected trade data for the month of February.

Chinese exports plummeted 20.7 percent in February from a year earlier, reflecting weaker demand and distortions from the Lunar New Year holiday.

That was far below expectations for a 4.8 percent drop. Imports fell 5.2 percent after a 1.5 percent fall in January.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.4 percent at 372.26 in opening deals after declining 0.4 percent the previous day.

The German DAX was losing half a percent, France's CAC 40 index was moving down 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was declining 0.7 percent.

Swiss drug major Roche Holding edged down slightly. The company announced that it has received approval from the European Commission for Tecentriq in combination with Avastin and chemotherapy for the initial treatment of people with a specific type of metastatic lung cancer.

British retailing group Sports Direct International dropped 1.3 percent. The company has demanded the removal of all of the board of Debenhams except one, and the appointment of Mike Ashley to an executive role. Shares of Debenhams soared 16.5 percent.

Serco Group fell around 1 percent despite the company signing a new contract to provide field office support services to the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Air France-KLM Group fell 1 percent in Paris despite the airline reporting a 4.1 percent year-over-year rise in passenger figures for February.

Bayer dropped 1.7 percent in Frankfurt after announcing it has submitted a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency for darolutamide for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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