Europe Markets

Euro Stocks End Higher as Miners Gain

European shares ended a volatile session higher across the board Friday, with mining stocks and UBS enjoying strong gains, but a worse-than-expected fall in U.S. jobs hampered upward momentum.

The U.S. economy lost 80,000 jobs in March, a figure which reinforced fears the economy was heading for a recession. 

Meanwhile, British Energy jumped 7.3 percent on a media report that EDF planned a bid, making it the top percentage gainer in Europe.

British Energy declined to comment, while no comment was available from EDF.

UBS, whose shares rose sharply earlier this week when investors cheered what was seen as a comprehensive attempt to clean up its books by taking a big writedown, added to gains with a 3.3 percent rise.

The latest advance was due to reports that an activist investor and former chief executive, Luqman Arnold, had demanded it shake up its governance and structure.

European shares have risen nearly 4 percent this week, driven by financials, but are down 13 percent so far this year, over worries that huge bank writedowns and losses stemming from a credit market crisis will affect the broader economy.

Analysts said it was too early to talk of any big rebound.

"Until negative fundamental trends are less pervasive, a call for a sustained bull market seems premature.

It is too soon to declare victory against the threat of financial distress, liquidity crisis, credit crunch, macro disappointment and systemic risk," Citigroup said in a note.

"Additionally, the earnings downgrade cycle is in its infancy," it added.

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline rose 1.3 percent after the company said it had won U.S. approval to sell an oral vaccine to prevent a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants.

Rival AstraZeneca gained 2.9 percent after Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the drugmaker to 2,200 pence from 2,150 pence and kept its "equal-weight" rating.

-- Reuters contributed to this report