Eurozone and US stocks fell Thursday as jobs data added to concerns the Federal Reserve would push on with interest rate hikes to fight decades-high inflation.
Frankfurt and Paris closed in the red, while Wall Street indices fell more than one percent after better-than-expected US employment data.
The dollar also rallied, with the greenback hitting a four-week high against the euro.
Private hiring in the United States jumped in December with a boost from service industries, though salary growth slowed, payroll firm ADP said.
This came on the heels of the release a day earlier of minutes from the Fed’s December meeting, which suggested that officials intend to keep raising rates until prices are under control.
Traders are jittery that in doing so, the central bank will tip the US economy into recession.
London shrugged off the downside move however, closing 0.6 percent higher, helped by positive news in the retail and banking sectors, as well as a weaker pound that helps exporters.
“The backtracking has a lot to do with concerns that the Fed will keep front-running the likelihood of more rate hikes,” Patrick O’Hare from Briefing.com said.
This is because of the enduring strength of the labor market, which “threatens to keep wage-based inflation pressures on the high side,” he added.
Despite the US labor market resilience, Amazon shed more than two percent as it announced plans to cut 18,000 jobs in the largest downsizing in the online giant’s history.
The Fed has raised interest rates seven times in the past year to try to cool demand and rein in soaring inflation.
Traders are now awaiting the US government’s official employment report on Friday.
– Oil recovers –
Stock markets mostly extended the solid start to the year earlier Thursday, as China reopens its economy from lockdowns and oil prices recovered after heavy losses.
The upbeat mood had been bolstered by signs that China is implementing policy changes to make it a more attractive location for investment.
A decision allowing Ant Group to raise $1.5 billion in funding was seen as a sign that authorities’ long-running crackdown on the tech sector could be coming to an end.
Fresh measures to support the struggling property sector have also been unveiled.
Reports that Beijing was considering lifting a two-year ban on some imports of Australian coal, as well as a slight thawing of ties with Washington, provided some hope for the year ahead.
That comes against the backdrop of a rollback of the country’s strict zero-Covid policy, which had sapped economic growth since the start of the pandemic.
– Key figures around 2150 GMT –
New York – Dow: DOWN 1.0 percent at 32,930.08 (close)
New York – S&P 500: DOWN 1.2 percent at 3,808.10 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 1.5 percent at 10,305.24 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,633.45 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX: DOWN 0.4 percent at 14,436.31 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 6,761.50 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,959.48 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.4 percent at 25,820.80 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 1.3 percent at 21,052.17 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.0 percent at 3,155.22 (close)
Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.1 percent at $78.69 a barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.1 percent at $73.67 a barrel
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0524 from $1.0604 Wednesday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.1909 from $1.2055
Euro/pound: UP at 88.34 pence from 87.96 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 133.42 yen from 132.63 yen