4:00 PM Frankfurt, Germany - European markets began the quarter with a loss after investors focused on weakening corporate confidence and volatile energy prices headed lower. Tata Steel. Apple dropped Osram from its list of top suppliers. Tata Steel may bid for Thyssenkrupp unit.
European markets began the quarter with a loss as weak data from Japan put pressure on the broad market, while energy stocks declined on lower oil prices.
European market indexes were also under pressure after the U.S. reported non-farm payrolls increased net of 215,000 in March, a solid increase and data for January and February were revised downward by 1,000 than previously estimated.
A separate survey by the U.S. Department of Labor showed jobless rate increased to 5% from 4.9% and average hourly earnings increased by seven cents.
The euro continued to rise and to weigh on exporters. The common European currency gained 0.14% against the dollar to $1.1393.
Earlier in the day, Asian markets closed lower after data showed that Japanese business confidence sharply declined in the first-quarter.
Bank of Japan said that the ""tankan"" index for large manufacturers fell to 6 in March, down from 12 in December. The index for large non-manufacturing companies dropped to 22 in March, down from 25 in December.
Investors largely neglected the positive data on the Chinese economy, where factory output rose in March, according to both official and Caixin manufacturing industries survey.
In the euro zone, Markit’s final PMI increased to 51.6 in March from 51.2 in February. The index was higher than the flash estimate of 51.4.
However, prices for factory goods declined in March at the steepest pace since 2009, as companies responded to weak demand and lower raw material costs.
Oil prices headed south on ongoing concerns about global oversupply. Brent crude oil futures tumbled 2.28% to $39.41 per barrel and WTI crude oil futures dropped 2.35% to $37.44 a barrel.
Among oil stocks, BP fell 2.9%, Royal Dutch Shell erased 2.3%, and Tullow Oil shed 1.3%, while Norway’s Seadrill fell 2.4%.
In London, the FTSE 100 lost 76.84, or 1.24%, to 6,098.06, while in Frankfurt, the DAX index fell 226.98, or 2.28%, to 9,723.53.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index declined 104.24, or 2.83%, to 4,280.82.
surged 5.2% to €19.20 after the German newspaper Rheinische Post reported that India’s Tata Steel may buy a stake in the European unit of the company.
Osram Licht AG
dropped 2.1% to €44.33 after the manufacturer of personal goods sector was removed from Apple''s list of top 200 suppliers in 2015.