By Sarah Turner
LONDON—European shares fell Friday, dragged down by fresh worries about the sustainability of the U.S. economic recovery.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index declined 1.1% to 258.71 as private-sector payrolls in the U.S. rose by a lower-than-expected 71,000 in July. The overall payrolls total declined as temporary Census Bureau jobs disappeared. The report added to a stream of economic data over the past few weeks that indicate the American recovery continues to weaken, and stoked fears the country could still fall back into a recession.
Despite the day's losses, the Stoxx Europe 600 gained 1.3% for the week, its second weekly gain in the last three weeks.
Shares of personnel-services firm Adecco /zigman2/quotes/201694772/delayed CH:ADEN +0.53% fell 3.6% in Zurich and those of Randstad Holding dropped 3.3% in Amsterdam.
"There's no doubt the U.S. economy is not as strong as we had hoped so.That is one potential for weaker economic growth and therefore earnings," said Oliver Russ , European fund manager at Argonaut Capital.
Among major national benchmarks, the German DAX index fell 1.2% to 6259.63, snapping a five-session winning streak. Losses were led by HeidelbergCement /zigman2/quotes/202418791/delayed DE:HEI +0.19% , down 3.8%, and car maker Daimler /zigman2/quotes/205332368/delayed DE:DAI +0.80% , off 2.8%.
In France, the CAC-40 index lost 1.3% to 3716.05, and the U.K. FTSE 100 index fell 0.6% to 5332.39.
The economic data from Europe wasn't as gloomy as that from the U.S. Italy's gross domestic product rose 0.4% in the second quarter from a year ago, with the growth rate unchanged from the first quarter. The Bank of Spain estimated that the Spanish economy expanded 0.2% in the quarter, up from 0.1% in the first quarter. German industrial production unexpectedly declined 0.6% in June, paring year-to-date growth to 10.9%, but May's surprisingly strong output data was revised higher.
"On the whole, the latest data suggest that the euro-zone is faring surprisingly well for the time being and we have penciled in a 0.8% quarterly expansion in the second quarter," said economists at Capital Economics.
Lanxess /zigman2/quotes/204947644/delayed DE:LXS +0.80% rose 3.6% after the German specialty chemicals group's second-quarter net profit soared and it raised its earnings outlook.
Food and beverage stocks were under pressure as the price of wheat surged Thursday on the Chicago Board of Trade. They were down Friday as European trading ended. Brewer Anheuser Busch-InBev /zigman2/quotes/209225053/composite BUD +0.38% dropped 3.7% in Brussels while Heineken /zigman2/quotes/205347870/delayed NL:HEIA +0.81% lost 3.5% in Amsterdam.
Dexia shares tumbled 4.8% in Brussels after the banking group reported disappointing earnings.
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