Europe Markets

European markets close higher after strong US payrolls; Skanska surges 6%


European markets closed higher on Friday after the publication of the latest nonfarm payrolls in the U.S.

Food and beverage stocks higher

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.59 percent with almost all sectors and major bourses trading in positive territory. Food and beverage stocks were among the best performers Friday. The world's sixth-largest premium spirit maker Davide Campari announced the acquisition of Bulldog London Dry Gin on Friday in a $55 million deal, excluding liabilities.

Insurance stocks were also higher on earnings reports. The insurance firm Beazley was at the top of the European benchmark, up by 8.6 percent, after reporting full-year profit above expectations.

Basic resources, on the other hand, dropped more than 2 percent in mid-afternoon trade following the surprising announcement from Chinese authorities of an increase in short-term rates.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average made triple digit gains shortly after the open with the broader S&P 500 also higher. Nonfarm payroll numbers were better-than-expected on Friday as the data showed payrolls increased by 227,000 last month.

Skanska up 6%

The Swedish builder Skanska jumped more than 5 percent on Friday after reporting an increase in its fourth-quarter profits.

Banco Popular, on the other hand, was at the bottom of the European benchmark, down by 7.4 percent after reporting a 3.5 billion euro loss in 2016.

In other corporate news, a $43 billion deal between ChemChina and Syngenta is set to receive the green light from EU regulators, Reuters reported.

Oil prices rose as the U.S. unleashed a new round of sanctions against Iran after its ballistic missile test. Brent crude jumped 0.5 percent to 56.84 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate climbed 0.4 percent to 53.77 a barrel.