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Europe shares close week lower despite US jobs data; Crimea fears linger

European stocks closed lower on Friday, despite better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, as geopolitical fears lingered after a week dominated by events in Ukraine's Crimea.

(Read more: Ukraine's PM: No concessions on Crimea)

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index initially pared some losses following the latest U.S. jobs data, but then sank once more, provisionally closing down 1.3 percent at 1,327.67 points. It ended the week down by around 1.6 percent.

The European STOXX 600 Index — which ended last Friday at an all-time high — finishing the week down for the first time in five weeks.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed the week down by 1.4 percent. The German DAX and French CAC 40 were down for the week by around 3.4 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

The Italian FTSE MIB outperformed other major European indexes, closing the week higher by 0.9 percent.

Russia's MICEX Index closed the week down more than 7 percent, but pared back some losses from Monday's one-day drop of 11 percent.

US jobs

The latest U.S. non-farm payrolls number showed 175,000 jobs were created in February, better than the 149,000 expected. But the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent .

U.S. stocks turned mostly lower on Friday after the data, with the S&P 500 wavering in the wake of its record rise.

"Weighing on the market is the fact it's a Friday, and we've had a very nice run over the last couple of weeks, and world tensions, or the Ukraine situation, is still stirring, so to speak, so it's not surprising to see some people take profits," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.

ECB aftermath

European stocks took a hammering at the start of the week, as tensions between Ukraine and Russia escalated following the latter's occupation of Crimea.While tensions slightly eased during mid-week, Friday saw a continued stalemate regarding peace negotiations.

(Read more: Putin rebuffs Obama as Ukraine crisis escalates)

There was profit-taking on Thursday and Friday in the aftermath of ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference. The central bank kept rates unchanged at 0.25 percent and Draghi dampened expectations of a shift in monetary policy.

"The ongoing recovery is expected to proceed, albeit it at a slow pace," Draghi told journalists in Frankfurt, Germany.

He reiterated that the euro zone would facing a "prolonged period of low inflation," but declined comparisons with Japan, which suffered deflation during the "lost decade" of the 1990s.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC 40
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IBEX 35
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Air France shares rise

In stocks news, Air France-KLM rose to the top of pan-European benchmarks on Friday after favorable traffic statistics for February helped its shares close the day higher by around 4.4 percent.

Shares of medical technology group Getinge closed down over 21 percent after warning that its first-quarter earnings would be impacted by higher costs, currency headwinds and production problems.

Dutch company Fugro saw its shares fall 2 percent after its 2013 results came in below its own expectations, despite benefiting from the sale of the majority of its geoscience division.

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