* German bond yields set new record lows
* European share markets open lower
* Euro stays within recent ranges against dollar
LONDON, April 20 German 10-year bond yields hit
record lows on Friday and riskier assets came under pressure on
growing fears about the euro zone debt crisis and uncertainty
over global growth.
A weekend featuring a potentially rocky meeting of the
International Monetary Fund, which is seeking to boost its funds
to help contain Europe's problems, and the first round of a
French presidential election have heightened the nervousness.
Weak U.S. unemployment and factory activity data on Thursday
also renewed doubts about growth, sending Wall St lower and
hitting commodity-related currencies during Asian trading.
"The context of the fragility on the economic side ... (and)
the political situation with the election in France means risky
assets are under pressure," said BNP Paribas strategist Patrick
German 10-year yields hit a new all-time low of 1.597
percent, while riskier Spanish 10-year yields
broke above the key 6 percent level.
The FTSE Eurofirst index of top European shares
opened down 0.2 percent at 1039.47, in line with fall in the
MSCI world equity index, which was down 0.1
percent at 324.57 and off around 3 percent for the month.
Against the dollar, the euro maintained the stable
path it has been on this month to be virtually unchanged at
$1.3146, though it was slightly softer against other currencies.
The dollar measured against a basket of major currencies
was also little changed though it gained against the yen
on expectations the Bank of Japan will ease policy
further next week.