European stocks and the euro experienced a hard hit again Friday as investors' grew jitterier over the heavily-indebted economies in the euro zone. However, Greece was firmly in the spotlight, Spain and Portugal were grabbing attention too.
Alongside Greece and Spain, Portugal is one of a handful of euro bloc countries that encounters massive pressure to get their public finances in order and placate markets which are concerned about the risks of a sovereign default.
By 1020 GMT, London's FTSE 100 index was 1.6% lower at 5057.81. Frankfurt's DAX was down 1.3% at 5460.05 and Paris's CAC-40 was down 2.2% at 3606.26.
While, Greece's ASE index was off 3.7% at 1880.5 while Spain's Ibex 35 index was lowered 2.0% at 10,037.0. However, Portugal's PSI-20 index was 2.4% lower at 7268.0. "The market is closely watching each country's ability to pay its debts. If the faith is lost, rates will go up significantly", revealed Erkki Liikanen, a member of the European Central Bank's Governing Council.
Greece has revealed to stick on the track to reduce its budget deficit by 4 percentage points to 8.7 percent of GDP this year, down from 12.7 percent in 2009.
Markets are now looking with trepidation towards official U. S. labor-market data for January, due for release at 1330 GMT.