European markets climbed off session lows to close lower as investors reacted to a fresh jobs report from the U.S., a policy meeting from OPEC and the new stimulus announced by the European Central Bank on Thursday.
US crude slips on OPEC
The pan-European STOXX 600 ended slightly lower, down 0.4 percent, but rising off session lows as positive trade in the U.S. helped ease sentiment. On the week, the index was down 3.4 percent provisionally.
Investors tried to shake off reports surrounding OPEC that said it would maintain crude production and raise its output ceiling to 31.5 million barrels per day. However, conflicting reports later said that there had been no formal agreement on the output figure.
The news added to pressure on stocks already hit by disappointment over the European Central Bank's (ECB) latest stimulus measures.
ECB president Mario Draghi announced Thursday that the bank would extend its asset purchase program and cut its deposit rate by 10 basis points.
However, analysts believed Draghi offered markets the "bare minimum of easing," on Thursday, resulting in the sell-off seen in stocks.National Bank of Greece saw shares continue to tank from the ECB's decision, closing down 24 percent.
Oil and gas sector stocks was Friday's worst performer, finishing 2.2 percent down. Oil prices fluctuated with U.S. crude down over $1 at $40.07. Brent crude also felt the heat, trading over 1 percent lower at $43.09 by the close. Oil stocks tumbled, with Seadrill, Subsea 7 and Tullow Oil all finished 5 percent or more down.
Basic Resources were also feeling the pressure, with the sector down almost 1.5 percent. Glencore, Anglo American and Arcelormittal all finished 2 percent or lower, adding pressure to the U.K.'s FTSE, which closed 0.6 percent lower.
US adds 211,000 jobs in November
Across the Atlantic, the U.S. nonfarm payrolls for November, the last major data point to come before the U.S. Federal Reserve meets on December 15-16 increased by 211,000 in November, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5 percent.
As the numbers came in above market expectations, this should help bolster the case for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise rates at its December meeting.
Earnings push Elekta, Berkeley up
Earnings boosted some stocks in the STOXX 600. British builder Berkeley Group topped the index, soaring at the close, near 7.5 percent after it reported a rise in first half sales and declared an interim dividend.
Swedish medical technology group Elekta ended 4.4 percent higher after it reported second-quarter core earnings above market forecasts.
Volkswagen-owned Audi announced that Ulrich Hackenberg, an engineer suspended as part of the emissions scandal, would leave the management board. Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller will become supervisory board chairman. Volkswagen shares rose sharply on the news, however pared to close up 1 percent.
Insurer AXA finished over 3 percent higher after UBS raised its price target for the French firm's stock. This comes after AXA promised higher dividends after it won approval for a capital model it proposed under new European Union rules.
French supermarket chain Carrefour ended 1.7 percent up after its chief executive said that trading was "good" last month and the Paris terror attacks only briefly weighed on sales, according to Reuters.