European Markets Finish Higher Despite Weak U.S. Jobs Report

The European markets ended Friday’s session in positive territory. Early gains were sparked by solid manufacturing data from the China, the U.K. and the Eurozone. The markets stumbled a bit in the afternoon, following the release of the weaker than expected U.S. jobs report, but managed to hold most of the gains.

Job growth in the U.S. came in well below economist estimates in the month of August, according to a closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday. The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment climbed by 156,000 jobs in August compared to expectations for an increase of about 180,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate subsequently inched up to 4.4 percent in August from 4.3 percent in July. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

The policy makers at the European Central Bank are unlikely to rush on a decision on next year’s bond-purchase plan, which indicates the possibility of finalizing a decision until December.

Bloomberg reported that it is unlikely that the policy makers would settle the full details of the QE plan at the October 26 policy meeting and hence a final decision may be made only in December.

The final plan is expected to be delayed until December, when the current program is set to expire.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.67 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.65 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.65 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.72 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.74 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.11 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.18 percent.

In Frankfurt, Volkswagen rose 1.04 percent on a Bloomberg report that it plans to expand its U.S. share of the lucrative SUV segment.

Lufthansa gained 3.20 percent after Bernstein upgraded its rating on the stock to “Market Perform” from “Underperform.”

In Paris, Vivendi jumped 5.21 percent after the media group topped Q2 profit forecasts and confirmed its 2017 outlook.

Airbus advanced 0.98 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded its rating on the stock.

In London, pharmaceuticals group Indivior sank 35.77 percent after losing a U.S. patent ruling over its key product, Suboxone Film.

Volvo soared 7.30 percent in Stockholm after the company unveiled ambitious new long-term financial targets.

The euro area manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace since 2011, as…

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