European Stocks Close Lower After US Jobs Report
European shares increases losses to close lower on Friday afternoon, after a better-than-expected U.S. employment report. Stocks briefly turned higher on the news, but initial enthusiasm was marred by fears of an end to the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus program.
The U.S. economy added 195,000 new non-farm payroll jobs in June after a 195,000 increase in May, the Labor Department reported. Economists polled by Reuters were anticipating the creation of 165,000 new jobs in June.
The unemployment rate came in unchanged at 7.6 percent.
The Federal Reserve has said it expects to end its $85 billion monthly asset purchases when the unemployment rate drops to around 7 percent, so Friday's report sparked fears the central bank could start tapering its purchases sooner than expected.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index moved higher immediately after the report, but fell quickly back into negative territory. It closed provisionally down 1.2 percent at 1,165.44.
(Read More: Job Growth Posts Large Gain in June; Rate Holds)
While the U.S. central bank may be closer to pulling back on the bond purchases, yesterday, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England offered forward guidance on policy for the first time, and said record-low interest rates would be maintained for a prolonged period.
(Read More: July 4: Independence Day for Europe's Central Banks?)