European shares slump to one-month low after oil price slips

European equities tumbled to a one-month low on the first trading day of the quarter on Friday, with energy stocks hit by weaker oil prices while Osram retreated after it was dropped from Apple’s top supplier list.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1.5 percent at its close, hitting its lowest level in a month earlier in the session. The benchmark index fell 7.7 percent in the first quarter.

European stock markets stayed in negative territory after the U.S. jobs data was published.

Some traders pointed to the fact that the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent from an eight-year low of 4.9 percent as making it more likely that the United States may refrain from further interest rate rises in the near future.

This pushed down the U.S dollar on currency markets, but moved the euro up against the dollar – impacting European stocks since European exporters often benefit from a weak euro to make their goods more affordable for overseas buyers.

“More dollar weakness seems likely for now, which could have a negative effect on European stocks,” said Darren Sinden at Admiral Markets.

Energy stocks dropped 2.7 percent as a decline in crude oil prices pushed down the shares of BP and Total .

Osram fell after dropping from Apple’s list of its top suppliers but shares in steelmaker Thyssenkrupp rose 4.9 percent after German business paper Rheinische Post reported that India’s Tata Steel was planning to take a stake in Thyssenkrupp’s European steel unit.

The FTSEurofirst remains down by around 9 percent since the start of 2016.

Source: Reuters

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