PARIS — Concerns that the world's powerhouse economies of China and the U.S. are struggling and that Europe's debt crisis isn't over drove most global stocks down on Tuesday.
European indexes were particularly hit as traders got their first opportunity to react to fairly dismal American jobs data after the long Easter weekend.
On Friday, the U.S. announced that the economy added 120,000 jobs in March, half the previous month's gain and the fewest in five months. That sent shares tumbling in the U.S., and European indexes were catching up Tuesday.
Hopes that the U.S. economy is recovering and will lift other economies with it have powered substantial gains in the stock market this year.
But now that recovery looks increasingly uncertain, and China has also revised its growth projections.
Stocks were dropping on the "realization that a few recent pieces of positive economic data was not enough to justify the recent spell of confidence with the current pace of global growth," said Shavaz Dhalla, a trader with Spreadex. "However, the European debt situation should remind investors that the U.S. is not alone in this."
Last week, disappointing Spanish bond auctions raised the possibility that the country might have to seek a bailout. The yields, or interest rates, on its bonds and those of other vulnerable European countries began rising and continued higher on Tuesday, an indication of investor wariness.
Spain's 10-year bond yield rose above 5.90 percent, pushing the difference — or spread — with the benchmark German yield to the highest since December, when the new government came to power.
"Also keeping investors on edge this morning is the eurozone, where Spanish and Italian bond yields are creeping up, even as Madrid and Rome attempt to point the finger at each other as the source of current tensions," said Chris Beauchamp, a markets analyst for IG Index.
Rising yields have been the hallmark of Europe's debt crisis, eventually pushing three countries — Greece, Ireland and Portugal — to seek rescue loans when they could no longer afford to borrow money from markets to fund their economies.
Amid all the bleak signs, European shares dived Tuesday.
France's CAC-40 plummeted 1.6 percent to 3,268, while the DAX in Germany fell 0.9 percent to 6,712. The FTSE index of leading British shares lost 0.9 percent to 5,673. The euro was down 0.1 percent to $1.3094.
Wall Street continued its slide, opening slightly in the red. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.2 percent to 12,905, while the broader Standard & Poor's index dropped 0.1 percent to 1,381.
Concerns about the health of an economic rebound have also been heightened by high energy prices, which many analysts worry are making any recovery harder. Oil prices have retreated off their recent highs, though, and benchmark oil for May delivery shed 33 cents to $102.13.
Earlier in Asia, most markets closed down.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1 percent to 9,538.02 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.1 percent to 20,362.22. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.1 percent to 1,994.41.
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, meanwhile, rose 0.9 percent to 2,305.86.
Elsewhere in Asia, the benchmark indexes in Australia, Thailand and India were down. Those of Taiwan, New Zealand, and Singapore were up.
Alex Kennedy contributed to this report from Singapore.
- Pistorius shown in TV interview ahead of...
- Obama names Stonewall national monument; 1st...
- Sanders says he'll vote for Clinton, but no...
- Items owned by gangster 'Whitey' Bulger to be...
- Motivational speaker Robbins' coal walk burns...
- Lucas abandons plan to build museum in...
- World doping watchdog shuts down Rio Olympic...
- Officials: No evidence Orlando gunman was gay
- House Republicans' report faults Obama... 52
- In need of help, Trump finds few... 39
- Big ruling for abortion rights in... 36
- The pro-life plan that could reverse... 36
- Did Trump really just become a... 36
- Love won't go to GOP national convention 35
- Supreme Court abortion decision could... 31
- Will 'Brexit' vote help Trump in Utah? 26