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April 2, 2015, 12:13 p.m. EDT

European stocks end lower ahead of Easter, U.S. jobs report

European stock markets are closed on Friday and Monday

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By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

Trading will be closed in most of Europe over Easter.

LONDON (MarketWatch)—European stock markets closed mostly lower on Thursday but managed to eke out modest gains in the Easter-shortened week. European markets are closed Friday and Monday for the Easter holidays.

Thursday’s trading action was marked by the markets flitting between small gains and losses as investors appeared reluctant to take any sizable positions ahead of the holidays and the closely watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls, which will be released on Good Friday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.73%  slipped 0.2% to 397.80, paring its weekly gain to roughly 0.6%.

Other indexes: Germany’s DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.72%  lost 0.3% to 11,967.39, but was on track for a weekly advance of 0.8%.

France’s CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.20% stood out as one the few gainers in Thursday trading, tacking on about 0.2% to 5,074.14, and ending the week up about 0.8%. The FTSE also gained on the day.

Greek reforms: Greece’s Athex Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210597948/delayed GR:GD +1.04%  moved fitfully on Thursday swinging to a 0.8% gain to end at 771.32. Earlier in the day the Athens index had been showing losses. Late Wednesday, Athens handed over a more detailed plan for revising its bailout program to its EU lenders and the International Monetary Fund. The move is the latest attempt by the Greek government to unlock the next portion of its bailout money, needed for it to avoid potentially running out of cash later this month.

Hopes for an imminent deal have been fading, however, with officials in Brussels and Athens suggesting that the Eurogroup of finance ministers won’t meet until April 24.

Movers and shakers: Shares of Marks & Spencer Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/206225481/delayed UK:MKS +2.47%   /zigman2/quotes/205629926/delayed MAKSY +2.35%  climbed 4.8% after the retailer reported a rise in fourth-quarter sales and said its food business outperformed the market.

Paddy Power PLC  rose 2.6% after Exane BNP Paribas lifted the bookmaker to neutral from underperform. The French bank further cut Betfair Group PLC , another gambling company, to underperform from outperform, sending the shares 2.5% lower.

Sugar producer Tate & Lyle PLC /zigman2/quotes/205109332/delayed UK:TATE +1.96%  gained 2.7% after reporting full-year results in line with expectations.

+3.11 +0.73%
Volume: 0.00
May 20, 2022 11:03p
DX : Xetra Indices
+99.61 +0.72%
Volume: 83,084
May 20, 2022 6:30p
FR : France: Euronext Paris
+12.53 +0.20%
Volume: 92,863
May 20, 2022 6:05p
GR : Athens Exchange
+8.86 +1.04%
Volume: 0.00
May 20, 2022 5:19p
UK : U.K.: London
136.90 p
+3.30 +2.47%
Volume: 5.68M
May 20, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
£2.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 3.49
+0.08 +2.35%
Volume: 38,088
May 20, 2022 3:52p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$3.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
UK : U.K.: London
754.50 p
+14.50 +1.96%
Volume: 896,444
May 20, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
£3.00 billion
Rev. per Employee

Sara Sjolin is a MarketWatch reporter based in London. Follow her on Twitter @sarasjolin.

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