Nonfarm payrolls smash expectations
Job creation surged in November, with the U.S. economy adding a dazzling 321,000 positions -- economists were expecting 230,000 new nonfarm payrolls jobs for November. The reported number for October was revised higher to 243,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent.
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The German DAX unofficially ended over 2 percent higher after U.S. jobs data was released, even as the Bundesbank halved its 2015 growth forecast for Germany on Friday. The central bank also trimmed its growth estimate for this year, but President Jens Weidmann said there were signs that current weakness would soon be overcome, however.
French stocks also surged over 2 percent higher. On the data front, Europe's statistics agency, Eurostat, confirmed its previous estimates of 0.2 percent growth in the euro zone in the third quarter.
U.S. stocks also rose on Friday, lifting the Dow to another record, as investors debated the implications of a stronger-than-expected November payrolls report on the timing of interest-rate hikes ahead by the U.S. Federal Reserve.