European stocks are trading lower today ahead of a critical employment report from the United States which will dictate investor confidence in the strength of the recent global share price rally.
US employers probably added around 106,000 private sector jobs last month, analysts are anticipating, a figure that would indicate a slow but steady employment recovery but would still fall well shy of the 250,000 needed to replace the more than 8 million jobs lost since the start of the global credit crisis in 2008.
Here in Europe, stocks drifted lower ahead of the data, easing gains from a two-week rally that's added nearly 6 percent to the broadest measure of bluechip stocks in the region, the FTSE Eurofirst 300. A cautious tone prevails in the bond markets, as well, where the benchmark two-year bond yield in Germany, know as the schatz, dipped below zero for the first time this morning as investors sought safe-haven assets amid the financial market turmoil. Yesterday' triple-play from interest rate cuts from China and Europe and an addition of £50bn in stimulus from the Bank of England has largely failed to ignite demand around the region's periphery, where Spanish 10-year bond yields are back to testing the 7 percent threshold first breached in the days prior to last week's European Leaders' Summit in Brussels. Benchmark Italian 10-year debt is also on the rise, edging past 6 percent and largely erasing post-summit gains.