European stock markets fell yesterday as traders brushed off monetary stimulus measures in Europe and China, and focused instead on disappointing jobs data in the US. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 slid 0.53% to close at 5,662.63 points, Frankfurt’s Dax 30 shed 1.92% to 6,410.11 points and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 1.88% to 3,168.79 points. In Madrid, the Ibex 35 index slumped 3.1% to 6,738.9 points and in Milan the FTSE Mib index was down 2.53% at 13,732 points as investor concerns about Spain and Italy’s strained public finances. In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency fell to $1.2302 from $1.2391 late Thursday in New York. In midday trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.41% to 12,714.19 points. The S&P 500 was down 1.24% at 1,350.66, while the tech-rich Nasdaq dropped 1.60% to 2,928.45. The US Labour Department said the world’s biggest economy generated a net 80,000 new jobs in June, well short of forecasts and a result that left the unemployment rate at 8.2%. The figures put the average job gains for the second quarter at 75,000 per month, a bad sign for US growth and consumer spending. “US data will now be in sharp focus over the next month, as further declines in indicators would surely build the case for (further stimulus) by the (US Federal Reserve which will) meet at the end of the month,” commented ETX Capital trader Ishaq Siddiqi. European stocks got only a slight boost on Thursday after the European Central Bank (ECB) cut its main interest rate by a quarter point to a record low 0.75% without announcing additional stimulus moves. In London, the Bank of England (BoE) maintained its main rate at a record low of 0.5% and announced £50bn ($78bn) in extra stimulus cash to boost Britain’s recession-hit economy. China’s central bank trimmed rates for the second time in a month, a surprise move which analysts said may indicate that the Chinese economy, the world’s second biggest, is slowing more quickly than expected. “The reaction to yesterday’s monetary stimulus from the ECB, BoE and (China) has failed to prompt further market gains and this is a worrying sign,” said economist Neil MacKinnon at VTB Capital. “It may be that the markets think non-conventional monetary policy is becoming increasingly ineffective and that the problem of a ‘liquidity trap’ has not been resolved.” A liquidity trap occurs when central banks pump cash into the financial system but banks hoard the money to ward off possible adverse events rather than lend it to customers and so help boost the economy. Asian markets mostly sank yesterday as the central bank attempts to stimulate the global economy failed to reassure wary investors. Tokyo closed down 0.65%, or 59.05 points, at 9,0120.75 and Seoul ended 0.92%, or 17.29 points, lower at 1,858.20. Hong Kong was flat, edging down 0.04%, or 8.49 points, to 19,800.64 while Shanghai bucked the trend to close up 1.01%, or 22.23 points at 2,223.58. Sydney closed down 0.27%, or 11.40 points, at 4,157.8. In other markets, Singapore’s Straits Times Index closed up 0.24%, or 7.08 points, to 2,978.55, Bangkok fell 0.14% or 1.72 points to 1,200.08 and Kuala Lumpur ended 6.12 points, or 0.38%, higher at 1,620.55. Taipei fell 19.19 points, or 0.26%, to 7,368.59, Manila slipped 7.30 points, or 0.14%, to 5,362.68 and Wellington fell 5.50 points, or 0.16%, to 3,478.70. In Asia trading, Gold was worth $1,594.70 an ounce at 1115 GMT, compared with $1,618.30 late Thursday, while on the currency markets the euro was changing hands at $1.2383, down from $1.2391 in New York late Thursday. Against the safe-haven Japanese currency, the euro dipped further to ¥98.88, from ¥99 in US trade. The dollar, meanwhile, was stable at ¥79.85, down slightly from ¥79.88 in New York trade. from gulf times.