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Europe close: Stocks end mixed after ‘goldilocks’ US jobs data



European shares ended the Friday session on a mixed note despite an April jobs report out of the US that saw traders price back in a second interest rate cut for 2024.

The benchmark Stoxx 600 index was up 0.46% to 505.53 with similar-sized gains for the German Dax and French Cac-40.

Spain’s Ibex 35 on the other hand ended down by 0.16% and the Italian FTSE Mib by 0.32%.

The euro and German Bund prices gained ground but Brent crude oil futures were again under pressure.

According to the US Department of Labor, non-farm payrolls grew by 175,000 in April (consensus: 243,000) and average hourly earnings were up by just 0.2% on the month (consensus: 0.3%).

Payrolls for the previous two months were revised down by a combined 22,000.

In other economic news, European Central Bank policymaker Yannis Stournaras said the ECB is “most likely” to cut interest rates just three times this year as stronger-than-expected economic growth supports inflation.

On the corporate side of things, commodities giant Glencore was reportedly mulling an approach for Anglo American, which had already rejected a $39bn offer from BHP Group. Shares in the takeover target were up 1.2% in London.

Shares in Credit Agricole rose 1% as the French bank posted a forecast-beating 55% jump in first-quarter net profit while rival Societe Generale was also higher as net income fell less than expected in the first three months of the year.

German consumer goods company Henkel gained 5% after slightly raising guidance for 2024, saying strong performance in the first quarter had boosted its sales and earnings outlook.

On the downside, Aurubis slumped 11% as UBS cut the German copper producer to ‘sell’ from ‘buy’, citing tightness in the copper concentrate market, uncertainty over capex and strategy due to management changes.

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