Europe Economy

FTSEurofirst 300 Posts Worst Daily Fall of 2013


European shares posted their biggest daily fall of the year after U.S. jobs data came in well below expectations, raising concerns that the recovery in the world's largest economy is weakening.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed down 1.5 percent at 1,162.76 points, having traded 1.9 percent down after U.S. non-farm payrolls data showed just 88,000 jobs were created in March, compared to forecasts of 200,000 jobs.

The report showed the labor force participation rate in March was at its lowest since 1979, at 63.3 percent. On the other hand, the unemployment rate fell to 7 .6 percent from 7.7 percent in February.

(Read More: US Job Creation Plunges, but Rate Drops to 7.6%)

"This is a very weak labor market," Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University economics professor told CNBC on Friday. "We'll be lucky if we have 2 percent growth again this year."

In stock news, restructuring specialist Hilco sealed a deal on Friday to rescue HMV, which has entered administration. Previously, the British high street firm firm had around 230 stores and employed over 4,000 staff.

Earlier on Friday, Spanish fishing company Pescanova said it would file for insolvency after failing to reach an agreement with its creditors following more than a month of negotiations.

Meanwhile, Easyjet closed 6.38 percent lower after it forecast a loss for the first half of 2013 and Numis downgraded it to "hold".

Better news came from Italian fashion house Prada, which posted a record quarterly profit, as strong sales in Asia offset weakness in Europe.