Europe Markets

Europe closes mostly lower as US jobs number disappoints

Europe shares close mostly lower

European shares closed mostly lower on Friday afternoon as investors booked profit after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a surprise trio of rate cuts on Thursday and U.S. non farm payroll came in lower than expected.

Data from the Labor Department showed U.S. job growth cooled in August, with payrolls adding just 142,000—even as the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent. Labor-force participation also fell, declining to 62.8 percent, tying the 2014 bottom and remaining at the lowest level since 1978.

The nonfarm payrolls data are a key gauge of the strength of the economy and an indicator the Federal Reserve considers when judging when it will hike interest rates.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index traded provisionally lower at close, down 0.44 percent, along with all major European bourses lower bar the German DAX, which knocked up small gains.

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Investors were also watching peace talks between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said he had ordered the army to observe a ceasefire from 3 p.m. GMT on Friday.

BP shares steady

Mining stocks were the major laggard on Friday, due to ongoing weakness in the sector due to lower commodity prices.

BP shares provisionally closed 2.6 percent higher, following a sharp fall on Thursday after a U.S. judge found the oil major "grossly negligent" and "reckless" in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill 2010.

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