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European markets close higher following US jobs report; Indivior down 35%; Micro Focus up 7.5%

  • Volvo rose more than 7 percent after announcing new financial targets for the year with an operating margin above 10 percent.
  • Media was among the best performing sector in early trade on earnings news and rating upgrades.
  • On the final day of the third round of Article 50 talks Thursday, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier stated that the exit negotiations had failed to generate the kind of progress required to head into a new phase set in October.

European markets closed higher Friday afternoon as investors took note of several data releases, including a U.S. jobs report.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the week up 0.67 percent with every sector bar telecoms in positive territory. All major bourses closed in the black, barely changed for the week, while the Stoxx 600 rose 0.2 percent. Meanwhile, in U.S. stocks moved higher despite a disappointing jobs report. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 156,000 in August, below expectations on 180,000.

In Europe, media was among the best performing sectors on earnings news and ratings upgrades. The French multinational Vivendi closed the day 5.2 percent higher after presenting its second-quarter results.

Basic resources were also higher on positive data from China. The Caixin China manufacturing PMI for August hit a six-month high of 51.6, topping analyst expectations.

Volvo ended the day up 7.3 percent after announcing new financial targets for the year with an operating margin above 10 percent.

It was beaten to the top of the European benchmark, however, by British software and information technology company Micro Focus, which rose 7.5 percent after closing a $8.8 billion takeover of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The deal makes Micro Focus the UK's biggest technology company.

The trading day was less successful for U.K. drugmaker Indivior. The stock plunged 35 percent after it said that it would appeal a U.S. court ruling that generic drug maker Dr Reddy's had not infringed its patents.

UK manufacturing surprises

In the U.K., the manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to a four-month high of 56.9 in August, beating forecasts.

"The manufacturing sector, however, should be doing even better, given sterling's huge depreciation and the emergence of a strong recovery in the euro zone," Samuel Tombs, chief U.K. economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said in an email.

Across the euro zone, the purchasing managers' index for manufacturing confirmed an earlier reading of 57.4 for August.

"The improvement was underpinned by buoyant demand, and in particular by foreign orders, which reached a more than six and a half year high. This suggests that firms are not being very adversely affected by euro appreciation at this stage, consistent with our view that euro appreciation impact on growth will be modest," Apolline Menut from Barclays said in an email.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was little changed ahead of a U.S. jobs report.

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On Thursday, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier stated that the Brexit talks had failed to generate the kind of progress required to head into a new phase set in October.

The wrath of Hurricane Harvey continues to add uncertainty to commodity markets. Oil prices were trading in the red in late European deals Friday, with Brent at $52.77 per barrel, while U.S. crude hovered at $47.10.