LONDON — European markets closed higher Friday as investors digested key central bank decisions, economic data and corporate earnings.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.3% higher. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index hit a record high after the pound fell following U.S. jobs data. British stocks typically rise with a weak pound as it makes exports more competitive. Big oil majors on the benchmark collect their revenues in dollars. Additionally, the Bank of England also hiked rates by half a percentage point on Thursday.
Meanwhile the U.S. jobs report came in much stronger than expected, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 517,000 versus the Dow Jones estimate of 187,000. Treasury yields jumped higher on the news as stock futures fell.
Back in Europe, the composite Purchasing Manager's Index showed euro zone business activity returned to growth in January for the first time in six months, adding to hopes the bloc will avoid a recession.
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday as Adani Enterprises briefly plunged, continuing a sell-off triggered by allegations raised by short seller firm Hindenburg.
UK's FTSE 100 hits record high
Britain's FTSE 100 index hit a record high of 7,906.58 points at 3.45 p.m. London time.
The high was partly caused by the pound dropping against a strong dollar buoyed by better-than-expected U.S. jobs data.
The blue-chip index surpassed its last record high of 7,903.50, which it hit on May 22, 2018.
— Hannah Ward-Glenton
Platinum price falls 3%
The spot price of platinum fell more than 3% to hit $999.15 per ounce at around 3 p.m. London time on Friday.
The precious metal pared gains made in January, when the spot price increased more than 2%.
Investment bank UBS raised its quarterly forecast for platinum to $1,100 per ounce for June, $1,150 in September and $1,200 for December.
The bank anticipates demand for platinum will increase as more of the metal is expected to be used in diesel vehicle catalysts.
Precious metal prices skyrocketed in 2022 following the invasion of Ukraine, with Russia being the world's largest exporter of palladium and one of the biggest exporters of platinum and silver.
— Hannah Ward-Glenton
Balancing books essential to the survival of France’s pension system, lawmaker says
Alexandre Holroyd of the Renaissance political party discusses the country's pension reform plan and what he says is the "responsible thing to do."
January jobs report blows past expectations
The U.S. economy added 517,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department said Friday. That number easily topped a Dow Jones consensus forecast of 187,000.
— Jeff Cox
PMI shows euro zone business activity returning to growth
The January Purchasing Managers' Index for the euro zone recorded a return to business activity growth.
It comes after figures showed the bloc narrowly avoided contraction in the fourth quarter and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said the euro zone economy had proven more resilient than expected and risks were reducing.
The latest composite PMI spanning manufacturing and services came in at 50.3, up from 49.3 in December, the first time it has been above 50 since June.
S&P Global Market Intelligence, which compiles the survey, said it was a sign the euro zone could dodge a recession.
— Jenni Reid
Signals coming from bond market at odds with what’s happening with stock market: Strategist
"This tightening was done on planet earth, not on planet mars," and it will therefore affect the economy, says Salman Ahmed, global head of macro and strategic asset allocation at Fidelity International.
We expect the residential development market to be slow, says Skanska CEO
Anders Danielsson, CEO of the construction and development company, says that also applies to the commercial development market, but infrastructure is expected to be stable for most of Europe.
Stocks on the move: Publicis Group up 2.8%, Kinnevik down 9%
Swedish investment firm Kinnevik dropped 8.8% after reporting a 19.5 million Swedish krona ($1.8 million) net loss for 2022, down from a 14.7 million krona profit in 2021.
Gains were muted, but French ad and PR firm Publicis Groupe ticked up 2.8% after forecasting higher revenues this year.
— Jenni Reid
European markets open lower following central bank 'Super Thursday'
Europe's Stoxx 600 index was 0.4% lower in early trade, with most sectors lower, giving up some of the gains made in Thursday's session.