The OMXS index had risen in early trading, after falling for two days in a row. But the good news was short-lived. The news from the US that the number of people in work in December was up just 18,000 – worse than expected and the weakest growth since 2003 – sent the world’s stock markets tumbling.
At closing, the OMXS was down 3.2 percent to 332.1. Stock markets also fell elsewhere in Europe, with London’s FTSE 100 down 2.0 percent, the Frankfurt DAX down 1.2 percent and the Paris CAC also down 1.2 percent.
Shares worth 22.8 billion kronor ($3.6 billion) changed hands during the day. Overall, the Stockholm exchange fell 5.6 percent during the three trading days since the New Year holiday.
Among the losers in Stockholm were clothing giant Hennes & Mauritz, down, 4.4 percent to 358 kronor. H&M’s share price is down 9 percent since markets opened on Wednesday.
Telecom company Ericsson was also a loser, falling 4.3 percent to 14.18 kronor. Commercial vehicle maker Volvo was down 5.8 percent to 98 kronor, Electrolux was down 7.6 percent to 96.75 kronor, engineering company Sandvik was down 5.8 percent to 98.25 kronor, while Atlas Copco ended the day at 87.75 kronor, down 5.1 percent.
A small number of companies bucked the downward trend: oil company West Siberian Resources rose 6.1 percent to 4.88 kronor on the back of news that its oil production had increased to a new record level of 40,500 barrels a day at the end of 2007. Total annual production at the company last year was 15 million barrels, up from 10.6 million in 2007.
Other good news came from cosmetics company Oriflame, which rose 2.2 percent to 401.50 kronor, Netinsight, which rose 3 percent to 5.32 kronor.