Europe Markets

European stocks end lower after weak US jobs number


European markets finished lower on Friday after the latest U.S. jobs data showed a slowdown in employment in January.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended around 0.9 percent lower, with all major bourses in negative territory as investors digested weaker-than-expected U.S. employment data.

Germany's DAX closed down around 1.1 percent, while the French CAC and London's FTSE finished down 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 151,000 in January, the U.S. Labor Department said, falling short of analysts' expectations. The figures are likely to influence the hiking path the Federal Reserve takes on interest rates.

"Signs of a slowdown in hiring, still-weak annual pay growth and disappointing survey data, all pitched alongside an adverse financial market environment so far this year, reduce the odds of the Fed hiking rates again in March," chief economist at Markit, Chris Williamson, said.

U.S. equities fell on Friday after the jobs data was out.

Miners bounce back

Anglo American ended sharply higher, closing up over 10 percent as metal prices saw a slight rebound. Fellow miner Lonmin also saw strong gains.

On the earnings front, ArcelorMittal announced it would launch a $3 billion capital increase after its fourth-quarter net loss widened from a year ago amid falling steel prices, sending shares down more than 5 percent.

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Mercedes China sales surge

Meanwhile, truckmaker Volvo reported operating profit and sales that just missed analyst expectations and cut its outlook for deliveries of heavy duty trucks in North America and Brazil. Still, shares in the Swedish firm closed around 1.9 percent higher.

The auto sector was performing well in early trade following good news from the sector. Daimler said that Mercedes-Benz China sales in January were up 52 percent year-on-year.

And Finnish tyre maker Nokian Tyres reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings sending shares into positive territory, climbing 11 percent to the top of the STOXX 600.

In the banking sector, France's BNP Paribas saw fourth quarter net income slump 51.7 percent to 665 million euros and announced plans to cut costs in its investment banking division. Investors took the news positively with shares ending around 1.5 percent higher.

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