European equities closed mixed on Friday, after fresh jobs data from the U.S. beat market expectations.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (FTSE International: .FTEU3) ended slightly higher on the day and posted its fifth weekly gain in a row, according to Thomson Reuters.
European stocks pared gains after the U.S. employment report, following a similar trend on Wall Street. This reflects the market view that a steadily strengthening employment picture will encourage the U.S. Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates from record lows.
Read More Dow extends slide, expectations grow for June hike
The latest report showed that job creation boomed in February in the U.S., despite the difficult winter conditions. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent and 295,000 jobs new jobs were created, versus an estimate of 240,000.
The euro (Exchange:EUR=) dropped against the U.S dollar, trading at $ 1.085 on the news.
The U.K’s FTSE 100 (FTSE International: .FTSE) showed some weakness during the session and closed unofficially down 0.7 percent on the day and 0.5 percent on the week.
By comparison, the German DAX (^GDAXI) index closed up around 0.4 percent on the day, with the French CAC 40 (Euronext Paris: .FCHI) gaining 0.1 percent.
The major underperformer on the U.K. benchmark index was the mining sector (STOXX:.SXPP), which was pressured by lower metal prices. Heavily-weighted firms like Anglo American (London Stock Exchange: AAL-GB), Rio Tinto (London Stock Exchange: RIO-GB) and Glencore (London Stock Exchange: GLEN-GB) all finished sharply lower.
“Heavyweight mining stocks are languishing at the foot of the table, as the price (of iron ore) moved below $ 60 a ton into territory where it’s difficult to make any margin,” Tony Cross, a market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said in a research note.
Meanwhile, shares of FTSE 100-listed Thomas Cook (London Stock Exchange: TCG-GB) soared to close over 24 percent higher after Chinese conglomerate Fosun International bought a stake in the travel agency. Fosun appears to be entrenching its hold on the European tourism industry, after buying France’s Club Med last month.
Read More Fosun buys 5% stake in Thomas Cook
Other than jobs data, the big news on Wall Street was the installment of Apple in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing AT&T. The change is expected to take place after the market close on March 18.
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