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10.04.2012 18:18

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European stocks tumbled to a two- month low amid mounting concern about the region’s debt crisis and as a U.S. report showed employers in the world’s largest economy added fewer jobs in March than forecast.

Stocks dropped around the world after a report showed that American employers added 120,000 jobs in March, the fewest in five months and less than the median economist forecast of 205,000. The amount had exceeded 200,000 for three straight months.

Spain’s bond yields rose today, after surging the most since January last week, amid concern that the country may join Greece, Ireland and Portugal in requesting a bailout.

National benchmark indexes fell in every western-European market except Greece, where the ASE Index jumped 3.2 percent, and Iceland. France’s CAC 40 slid 3.1 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 decreased 2.2 percent and Germany’s DAX slipped 2.5 percent. Spain’s IBEX 35 plunged 3 percent to its lowest level since March 2009, while Italy’s FTSE MIB sank 5 percent.

Italian banks led a gauge of European lenders lower, with UniCredit, the country’s biggest bank, dropping 8.1 percent to 3.04 euros and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA falling 7.9 percent to 1.14 euros. Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl slumped 6.8 percent to 32.82 euro cents.

STMicroelectronics NV dropped 8.2 percent to 5.33 euros after the chipmaker cut its first-quarter gross-margin forecast. The company said that an arbitration panel ordered it to pay $59 million to NXP Semiconductors Netherlands NV, a supplier.

Elsewhere, Santander lost 3.9 percent to 5.20 euros, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA slid 3.6 percent to 5.40 euros and Banco Popular Espanol SA retreated 3.5 percent to 2.50 euros.

Vedanta fell 6.5 percent to 1,155 pence as base metals declined in London and the company said fourth-quarter iron-ore sales fell to 5.2 million tonnes from 6.4 million tones a year earlier because of a continued mining ban in Karnataka, India.

EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA led a rally in Greek banks, surging 29 percent to 66.9 euro cents. National Bank of Greece SA, the Mediterranean nation’s largest lender, climbed 24 percent to 2.05 euros, while Piraeus Bank SA, Greece’s fourth-biggest lender, jumped 27 percent to 33.1 cents.

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