London - European stocks posted sharp early losses on
Tuesday and German government bond yields hit their lowest levels since
September, as investors returning from a holiday weekend cut their exposure to
risky assets after surprisingly weak March US jobs data.
The worries about the health of the giant US economy
overshadowed positive trade numbers from Germany and China, with both nations
enjoying strong export growth, although weak Chinese import numbers took some
of the gloss off the data.
“Our feeling is we are back to looking primarily at the
shape of the US economy in the second quarter,” said Adam Cole, head of FX
research at RBC Capital Markets.
“I think the risk is even a normal quarter will be seen as
disappointing,” he said.
The key FTSE Eurofirst index of top European shares was down
one percent in early trade at 1041.56 with Germany’s DAX index down 1.2%
despite the trade numbers.
The euro was largely steady against the dollar clinging to
$1.3110, having bounced from a four-week low of $1.30330 hit on Monday.