By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) — Most European stocks staged solid gains on Friday, after U.S. jobs data pointed to a strong recovery toward the end of 2012, while Spanish stocks slumped after a short-selling ban was lifted.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.42% added 0.3% to close at 288.20, after a 0.5% loss on Thursday. The index declined 0.5% on the week.
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U.S. stocks rallied on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.40% temporarily topping the 14,000 level after a much anticipated nonfarm-payrolls report. See: Dow passes 14,000 after jobs report, overseas data
“The underlying data showed employment is getting stronger and there seems to be a feeling that the glass is still half full and that nothing can weigh on the market at this moment,” said Richard Perry, chief market strategist at Central Markets in London.
“Since the first trading day of 2013, investors have focused on the fact that the euro zone is not going to collapse in the near future, that U.S. data seem to be improving and that there’s mass central-bank liquidity,” he said.
Shares of BT Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/209006687/delayed UK:BT.A +0.59% jumped 6.5%, after the U.K. telecom operator posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and said its full-year financial outlook remains unchanged. See: BT earnings beat views, outlook remains unchanged
Shares of Swedbank AB /zigman2/quotes/203208387/delayed SE:SWED.A +0.78% advanced 1.5%, as Deutsche Bank lifted the bank to buy from hold.
On a more downbeat note, shares of home-appliances firm Electrolux AB /zigman2/quotes/203332100/delayed SE:ELUX.B +0.36% slumped 7.9%. The company said the market situation in Europe is likely to get worse, but that it will be offset by growth in North America and emerging markets. See: Electrolux sees weakness in Europe, profits rise
The broader European stock markets stayed in positive territory after data from the U.S. showed 157,000 more jobs were added to the economy in January, while the unemployment rate rose to 7.9% from 7.8%. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected an increase of 170,000 jobs last month, with unemployment dipping to 7.7%.
Moreover, gains for December and November were revised sharply higher, with December revised to 196,000 from 155,000 and November’s figure revised to 247,000. See: U.S. economy adds 157,000 jobs in January
“The January numbers aren’t majorly below expectation and the sharp upwards revision in the December data will be a fillip, but despite this there’s every chance we’ll see some of January’s gains go up in smoke,” said Marcus Bullus, trading director at MB Capital, in emailed comments.
“The bulls will argue that this minor reality shot could actually be what’s needed to allow investors on the sidelines the dip they need to get in and set us up for a more positive year,” he said.
Meanwhile, a measure of U.S. manufacturing rose to the highest level since April. See: Dow passes 14,000 after jobs report, overseas data
China and Europe PMI
Back in Europe, mining firms showed positive moves, after some mixed readings on Chinese manufacturing data. HSBC’s final print of the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for January came in at 52.3, up from the survey’s initial reading of 51.9, while the official PMI reading showed business activity remained in expansion territory, although at a slower pace than in December. See: China’s manufacturing improves, surveys show