Europe Markets

European stocks close lower; December non-farm figures disappoint; Fiat up 6.9%

European stocks closed lower on the last trading day of the first week of 2017 after the release of the December U.S. non-farm payrolls.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.05 percent down despite major bourses edging higher with sectors mixed.

Britain's benchmark stock index, the FTSE 100, recovered from an earlier dip to extend its record-breaking streak on Friday. The blue chip index closed higher for the seventh consecutive day.

Investors have been looking at some key data releases after strong PMI figures across Europe were released earlier this week as well as the most recent jobs data from the U.S.

Non-farm payrolls increased by 156,000 in December, according to the U.S. labor department, and the unemployment rate stood at 4.7 percent. Both figures disappointed slightly. The U.S. dollar reached a session high against the yen following the release of data.

The Dow Jones industrial average continued higher in spite of weaker-than-expected jobs data, getting ever closer to the elusive 20,000 mark.

Retail sales in the euro zone dropped 0.4 percent month-on-month in November. The year-on-year figure increased 2.3 percent from a revised 3.0 percent rate in October. Despite the contraction, analysts are confident that the sector can expand in the first quarter of 2017.

Claus Vistesen, chief euro zone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in an email that "retail sales growth has increased recently, consistent with better survey data. And it could well rise further in Q1."

Meanwhile, economic sentiment across the euro zone went up more-than-expected in December supported by better data across all main industries. The economic confidence index jumped to 107.8 in December from a revised figure of 106.6 in November.

Fiat up by 6%

Auto stocks were up slightly after Goldman Sachs raised its outlook for the Italian carmaker Fiat. Shares of the carmaker were up by more than 6.9 percent, reaching the top of the European index. However, Japanese carmakers were under pressure during Friday's trading in Asia after President-elect Trump took to Twitter to rebuke Toyota and its plans for a new car plant in Mexico.

Basic resources were the worst-performing stocks by the end of Friday's trade. Chinese miners agreed some fixed-price deals with utilities for 2017, Reuters reported.

Oil and gas stocks were off by about 0.33 percent. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said the U.S. can become a net energy exporter by 2026 due to a rebound in production and a flat consumption at home.

Meanwhile, Easyjet was 0.3 percent higher after reporting a surge in the number of passengers. Sanofi closed over 2 percent down after a U.S. judge prevented it from selling a cholesterol drug.

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