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Most Global Indices Down Due to U.S. Jobs Data

Data raises concern over economic recovery.

The major global indices ended the week’s trading sessions down on Friday, mostly due to concerns over the economic recovery.

U.S. jobs data was weaker than expected
, showing the slowest pace of hiring in nine months. Compounding the concerns were other data points earlier this week that suggested a possible slowdown, such as the U.S. factory activity report for March, which grew at the slowest rate in three months. Now the focus next week will be on the start of earnings season, when some companies begin reporting their first-quarter results.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo closed up 1.6 percent to 12,833.64, while Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was down 2.7 percent to 21,726.90.

The major European stock market indices lost ground at the close of trading Friday, dented by the downbeat jobs data from the U.S.

The FTSE MIB in Milan was the only market that edged up, 0.6 percent to 15,250.42. The DAX in Frankfurt sank 2 percent to 7,658.75; the CAC 40 in Paris 1.7 percent to 3,663.48; and the FTSE 100 in London 1.5 percent to 6,249.78.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the day’s biggest decliners including Mulberry Group, which fell 4.1 percent to 9.30 pounds; PPR, which later this year will change its name to Kering, 4.2 percent to 165.35 euros; The Swatch Group, 4.3 percent to 90.20 Swiss francs, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton 3.4 percent to 129.90 euros.

Among the few stocks that gained ground were Safilo Group, up 3.5 percent to 10.50 euros, and French Connection Group, 4.3 percent to 31 pence.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.3 percent to 14,565.25, rebounding from an intraday decline to as low as 14,434.43 following the initial jobs report.  The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.7 percent to 724.55, rebounding from a intraday low of 718.58.

Of the retail stocks, shares of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. fell the most, losing 4.8 percent to $2.17, followed by Christopher & Banks Corp., down 4.2 percent to $6.12. Also down was Bluefly Inc., falling 4 percent to 72 cents.

Bebe Stores Inc. bucked the trend, rising 6.2 percent to $4.48. Bon-Ton Stores Inc. also showed gains, up 3.2 percent to $13.19.