Tuesday 20 March 2018

Debt crisis: European shares fall as US stimulus hopes ebb

EUROPEAN shares fell early on Friday as fading hopes of further monetary stimulus ahead of a key U.S. jobs report pushed investors to book more profits on five straight weeks of gains, the longest winning streak this year.

A better-than-expected private employment report on Thursday fuelled expectations non-farm payrolls data, due at 1230 GMT, may deliver a narrow consensus-beat, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to launch new stimulus measures but failing to remove concerns about the state of the world's largest economy.

By 0705 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.3 percent at 1,041.09 points after shedding 0.1 percent in the previous session, but was still up 2.3 percent for the week.

"I don't think that everybody who went flat or took some profits (on Thursday) has necessarily come back into the market just yet, meaning many are remaining on the sidelines at least till after today's non farms or even till next week when the U.S. earnings season kicks off," Markus Huber, head of German high net-worth trading at ETX Capital, said.

"Also one good job number wouldn't necessarily mean that a new trend has been established."

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