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European Markets Skittish on Downbeat Data

British unemployment figures among dampers affecting trading.

LONDON  Europe and Asia’s indexes were largely down in morning trading on the heels of yet more discouraging economic data.

Britain’s Office of National Statistics said today that the country’s rate of unemployment rose to 7.9 percent in the three months to June, a bigger than expected rise, meaning that 2.5 million people in the country are unemployed. In addition, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit rose by 37,100 between June and July, the largest monthly increase since May 2009.
 
The FTSE 100 was down 0.7 percent, while the DAX was down 1.1 percent and the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.55 percent. The CAC 40 had crept up by 0.3 percent.
 
The falls came after Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy’s meeting Tuesday did not reveal immediate measures to resolve the European debt crisis, and the leaders of Germany and France rejected the idea of issuing debt backed by all Euro zone countries, in the form of Euro bonds.
 
A number of luxury stocks were down in morning trading, including Prada, which fell 3.5 percent and Hermes, which fell 0.7 percent. But conversely several firms’ shares had inched up, too — LVMH was up 0.9 percent, L’Oreal was up 0.4 percent and Ferragamo had risen 2.9 percent.