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European stocks dip on US jobs data – The Economic Times

LONDON: European stocks pulled back on Thursday, failing to gain traction from a surprise drop in US unemployment claims, while Citigroup earnings disappointed. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day down just 0.07 per cent at 6,815.42 points. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 fell 0.17 per cent to 9,717.71 points and the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 0.30 per cent to 4,319.27 points. All three major markets had rallied on Wednesday, with sentiment boosted after the World Bank declared that the global economy was at a turning point. “There’s been little sense of a strong direction one way or the other today as European markets mark time at or around their multi-year highs,” said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK. In the United States, data showed new claims for US unemployment insurance fell last week to 326,000, below the average analyst forecast of 333,000. “Looking through the ups and downs in new filings, the job market continues to gradually heal,” said Ryan Sweet at Moody’s Analytics. News that the US recovery is strengthening sometimes dampens the markets, however, as investors take it as a sign the Federal Reserve will reduce its support for the economy. US shares moved lower on Thursday on disappointing earnings reports, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.53 per cent to 16,393.83 in midday trading. The broad-based S&P 500 fell to 0.29 per cent to 1,842.98, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 0.12 per cent at 4,209.98. Citigroup shares fell 4.36 per cent after earnings per share in the fourth quarter came in at 82 cents, well below the 96 cents expected. The bank’s quarterly earnings more than doubled on lower expenses, but the results sharply missed expectations due to lower revenues from fixed-income trading and mortgage finance. Fourth-quarter profits came in at $2.7 billion on revenues of $17.8 billion, up from $1.2 billion on revenues of $17.9 billion. Carrefour’s share price sank 3.71 per cent to 27.25 euros. Airbus Group shares rose 0.62 per cent to 56.99 euros, following news that the French state had raised 451 million euros by selling a one-per cent stake in the European aerospace giant. The divestment reduces France’s stake in the publicly traded group to 11 per cent — the same as Airbus Group partner Germany. Asian stock markets mostly rose following a record-breaking close on Wall Street as investors welcomed fresh positive US data and an upbeat Federal Reserve report. In foreign exchange activity on Thursday, the European single currency dipped to $1.3602 from $1.3604 late on Wednesday in New York. The euro rose to 83.24 British pence from 83.10 pence on Wednesday. The pound fell to 1.6339 from $1.6370. Gold prices firmed to $1,241.50 an ounce from $1,236 on Wednesday on the London Bullion Market. The Turkish currency plunged further on Thursday as the government grappled with its worst crisis in years, hitting a new low of 2.21 lira to the dollar. In afternoon trading, the lira was changing hands at 2.2008 to the dollar and 3.0058 to the euro. The Istanbul stock exchange was also down 1.89 per cent.
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