After an overnight technical glitch on Wall Street and lingering worries over a Greek crisis, World stocks held near a three-month low on Friday despite strong US job data. The euro traded close to a one-year trough, weighed down by persistent fears over the euro zone debt crisis.
The better-than-expected jobs figures, showing the US economy added 290,000 non-farm payroll jobs in April, did not give lasting support to risky asset
US stocks plunged 9 per cent in the last two hours of trading on Thursday before clawing back some of the losses as a suspected trading glitch and fears of a new credit crunch in Europe threw markets into disarray.
Sterling was especially hard hit, falling to a one-year low against the dollar, as well as shedding gains against the euro as UK elections seemed likely to result in no clear winner. It shed 12 yen against the safe-haven Japanese currency at one point.
World stocks have erased all of this year's gains to stand down 4 percent on the year.
By 0632 GMT, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 2.1 to 2.7 per cent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 1.2 per cent, after hitting levels not seen since early February earlier. US stock futures rose around 0.5 per cent.
Investors in Asia, however, appear to have realised they may have overreacted to the US carnage. Japan’s Nikkei skidded nearly 4 per cent to a two-month low in its worse day in slightly over a year, but it pared losses on short-covering. Asian shares, which fell 2.4 per cent, the biggest daily drop in three months, also reclaimed some losses by mid-afternoon.