Shares dented by growth, rates outlook; euro steady

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:34am EDT
 
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By Richard Hubbard

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares and the euro began trading within narrow ranges on Monday, retracing some of last week's gains, as investors paused to assess the effect of strong U.S. jobs data on the growth outlook and the potential for an end to central bank policy easing.

"The markets were due for a correction after rising too strongly so far, bringing prices to levels which wouldn't be sustainable," said Naohiro Niimura, a partner at research and consulting firm Market Risk Advisory Co.

Weak export data from China over the weekend, which resulted in a record monthly trade deficit for February, along with recent figures showing softer retail sales and industrial output than expected was also hurting mining shares and commodities.

The single currency was little changed at $1.3110, having dipped to as low as $1.3079 in Asian trading, its lowest level since February 16. The U.S. dollar hovered around three-week highs against a basket of major currencies.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent at 1075.89, after closing 0.4 percent higher on Friday. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS was down 0.2 percent after a softer session on major Asian markets.

Safe haven German government bond futures opened higher after agreement on the second Greek bailout deal last week was followed by a focus on concerns the fragile growth outlook could derail debt-laden Portugal, and cause fresh worries in Spain and Italy.

(Additional reporting by Chikako Mogi; Editing by Toby Chopra)

 
A man walks past screens showing the Nikkei stock average and stock quotation boards in Tokyo March 9, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato