24 Apr 2012

Markets slide as eurozone fears return

4:03 pm on 24 April 2012

World sharemarkets have fallen after weak manufacturing data and political uncertainty in France and the Netherlands hit investor confidence.

In the United States, Wall Street fell 0.8%, German shares were down 3.4% French stocks fell almost 3% and British shares were almost 2% lower on Monday.

Political uncertainty in France is fuelling a growing sense that the eurozone crisis is returning.

Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate and likely winner, has promised to renegotiate the pact, enforcing greater budgetary discipline in the eurozone, the BBC reports.

Also rattling markets is the collapse of the Dutch government which had failed to agree a new austerity package intended to bring the deficit in line with European Union rules.

A key survey of economic activity released on Monday showed that the European economy is weakening, while the Spanish economy officially fell back into recession.