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European stocks post worst 2013 performance on US jobs miss

EUROPEAN shares fell on Friday to post their biggest daily fall of the year so far after U.S jobs figures came in much worse than expected.

The FTSEurofirst extended falls when the U.S. non-farm payrolls figure came in below even the rumoured weaker numbers that had circulated in morning trade, and which had triggered a breach of chart support for Germany's DAX.

U.S. employers hired 88,00 workers in March, under half the consensus figure from a Reuters poll of 200,00 and the slowest pace in nine months.

"It's a bad number, much worse than consensus or the whisper numbers that were being circulated," Joshua Raymond, strategist at City Index, said, referring to market talk of a non-farm payroll reading as low as 120,000.

By the provisional close, the FTSEurofirst was down 1.5pc at 1,162.76 points, led by the travel and leisure sector , down 3.5pc, amid concern about the impact on sales of a fresh outbreak of bird flu in Asia.