Europe shares hit 2-month low; jobs data in focus

LONDON, Feb 5 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares hit two-month lows
on Friday after hefty falls in the previous day, with growing
worries about sovereign debt situation in the euro zone and
anxiety ahead of a key U.S. jobs data hurting sentiment.

At 0811 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares fell 0.6 percent to 986.68 points after touching
986.40 — the lowest since early December of last year. The
index slipped 2.8 percent in the previous session, its biggest
one-day percentage fall in 10 weeks.

Banks were among the top losers, with Standard Chartered
(STAN.L: ), Barclays (BARC.L: ), Lloyds (LLOY.L: ), Royal Bank of
Scotland (RBS.L: ), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: ) and Societe Generale
(SOGN.PA: ) falling 0.9 to 2.5 percent.

“It’s clear that the market is shifting from extremely
risk-loving to once again becoming risk-averse and this is an
environment to be extremely cautious,” said Philippe Gijsels,
senior equity strategist at BNP Paribas Fortis in Brussels.

“We are clearly in a correction mode. If U.S. job figures
are good, the market could see some bounce from oversold
levels,” he added.

Investors traded cautiously ahead of the U.S. non-farm
payrolls data, due at 1330 GMT, for fresh clues on the extent of
economic recovery in the country. A Reuters survey predicted
non-farm payrolls grew 5,000 in January after a surprise 85,000
drop in December.

Worries over euro zone peripheral countries’ fiscal health
have sent shockwaves through global financial markets. The
International Monetary Fund has offered to help Greece, though
Athens has said it will not ask the IMF for assistance.

Miners came under pressure as metals prices slipped. BHP
Billiton (BLT.L: ), Anglo American (AAL.L: ), Antofagasta (ANTO.L: ),
Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), Xstrata (XTA.L: ) and Eurasian Natural
Resources (ENRC.L: ) fell 0.7 to 2.2 percent.

British gas producer BG Group (BG.L: ) fell 2.9 percent after
the company reported a 38 percent drop in fourth quarter
profits.

Penny Stocks

(Reporting by Atul Prakash)

Europe shares hit 2-month low; jobs data in focus