(Recasts after U.S. jobs data)
* European shares erase gains after weak U.S. jobs data
* Volkswagen loses more ground, faces French probe
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday after weak U.S. jobs data, and Volkswagen stock lost more ground as a French investigation added to pressure from a scandal over the carmaker’s diesels emissions practice.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index had been up by about 1.5 percent before the U.S. data was released and erased all those gains to trade down 0.7 percent going into the close of the session.
U.S. employers’ hiring stalled over the last two months and wages fell in September, raising new doubts that the world’s biggest economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by the end of this year.
Payrolls outside of farming rose by 142,000 last month and August figures were revised sharply lower to show only 136,000 jobs added in August, the U.S. Labor Department said.
“It was a bad U.S. jobs figure, no doubt about that,” Logic Investments’ Harry Shann said.
Volkswagen was among the worst-performing stocks in Europe, down 5.4 percent near four-year lows as concern intensified over the fallout from the company rigging emissions tests in the United States. That has wiped out about a third of its market value.
Worries over an economic slowdown in China and uncertainty over when the U.S. may raise interest rates have pushed European stock markets close to their 2015 lows.
But some investors said European stocks could be ready to rebound as the traditionally positive fourth quarter begins. Economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) would also prop up European equities, they said.
“The market is trying to find its equilibrium and I believe it’s almost reached it. Thinking strategically, European stocks have never been so interesting,” Consultinvest fund manager Enrico Vaccari said.
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni and Alasdair Pal; Editing by Louise Ireland)