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Poor US job numbers put skids under stock markets

IRISH shares fell yesterday, as the Central Bank fractionally revised down its growth projections for the economy and reports signalled the rebound in the US economy had slowed.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 2.6pc or 103.16 points to 3808.57.

The Dublin market fell throughout the day to close in the red.

The laggards included the three Irish banks after the Central Bank revised forecasts for the economy and export demand, and said it couldn't rule out that the banks may need more capital.

Permanent TSB fell 8.8pc to close at €0.04, while AIB fell 4.2pc to €0.07 and Bank of Ireland lost 3.7pc to €0.16.

Bookmakers Paddy Power was down 4.4pc to €65.42 and insurance giant FBD lost 2.9pc to finish at €12.38. Providence Resources fell fractionally by 0.3pc to €7.30, despite an independent auditor saying the oil and gas exploration company has more oil off the south coast of Ireland than previously expected.

On the other side of the board, the winners included exploration firm Petroneft, which rose 9.5pc to €0.05, while transport group Irish Continental was up 1.5pc to €19.80.

Elsewhere, European stocks posted their biggest weekly decline since November amid the US economic reports, while the ECB said risks remained to the euro area's recovery.

National benchmark indexes fell in all 18 western-European markets this week.

The UK's FTSE 100 dropped 2.5pc, while France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX retreated 1.8pc.

The stock market in Cyprus declined 2.5pc after opening for the first time since March 15.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 2.3pc in the four-day week following the Easter holiday, completing its longest stretch of losses in more than 10 months.

European stocks extended losses yesterday, as a US government report showed the country's economy created fewer jobs last month than economists had forecast.

"Markets are going to be vulnerable to bad news from the States," Philip Saunders of Investec Asset Management in London said.

"Growth, or the lack of it in Europe, is the big issue. We're in a depression and that's not going to go away. The Japanese authorities have finally gotten round to dealing with it after 20 years; let's hope it doesn't take that long in Europe."

Vodafone lost 2.1pc as Verizon denied interest in a buyout.

Irish Independent