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European stocks slumped the most in five months as U.S. employers hired fewer workers than forecast and airline shares fell as a bird flu spread in China.
U.S. payrolls grew by 88,000 workers in March, the smallest gain in nine months. That missed the median economist for an advance of 190,000 in a Survey and followed a revised 268,000 increase in February.
National benchmark indexes fell in all 18 markets in western Europe today, except Italy. Germany’s DAX retreated 2.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 declined 1.8 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 1.6 percent.
Air France lost 7.5 percent to 6.76 euros, leading a gauge of travel companies in the Stoxx 600 to the biggest slump in more than 18 months. As the death toll in China from the new bird flu strain, known as H7N9, rose to six people, authorities in Shanghai shut several poultry markets and culled birds in an effort to contain the virus.
IAG sank 6.6 percent to 235.6 pence in London and Deutsche Lufthansa AG tumbled 5.1 percent to 14.16 euros in Frankfurt.
EasyJet Plc retreated 6 percent to 1,031 pence, the biggest drop in 13 months, even as Europe’s second-largest discount carrier cut its first-half pretax loss forecast amid a surge in late bookings for Easter.
The world’s airlines suffered a $10 billion loss a decade ago on the SARS outbreak that killed 774 people in 2002 and 2003. At the peak of the outbreak, carriers including including Singapore Airlines and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, cut more than 1,150 weekly flights.
Daimler paced a selloff in carmakers, dropping 2.3 percent to 41 euros in Frankfurt. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG declined 1.9 percent to 66.26 euros, while Renault SA slid 1.5 percent to 49.65 euros in Paris trading.
Basic-resources companies also fell, sending an industry gauge lower for a seventh straight week, the longest losing streak in 13 years. ArcelorMittal retreated 3 percent to 9.23 euros, Xstrata Plc slid 3.3 percent to 1,016 pence and Glencore International Plc dropped 3.2 percent to 337.55 pence.
Telecom Italia SpA climbed 1 percent to 58.4 euro cents, extending yesterday’s 7.8 percent advance, as the company said it’s examining a possible merger with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.’s Italian division, H3G SpA.
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