European shares hit 1-week low on growth concerns

LONDON, April 5 Fri Apr 5, 2013 3:12am EDT

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower to a one-week low on Friday, with recent poor data raising concerns about the health of the U.S. economic recovery and that Friday's widely-watched non-farm payrolls data may also disappoint.

The U.S. data is likely to show employers added 200,000 jobs last month, but recent weak figures including Thursday's report showing the number of Americans filing new unemployment benefit claims at a four-month high, have raised doubts about March payrolls, due at 1230 GMT.

"We have seen some moderation in the pace of growth in the United States. The fundamentals are not as supportive as they were this time last year," Gerard Lane, equity strategist at Shore Capital, said.

"But the U.S. Federal Reserve's quantitative easing programme isn't going away and hence it's difficult to see, despite my caution on the fundamentals, the market coming off sharply in the near term."

At 0708 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.2 percent at 1,178.568 points after falling to a one-week low of 1,178.56. The index fell 1.1 percent in the previous session, but is still up about 4 percent so far this year.

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