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European stocks end narrowly mixed

European stocks end narrowly mixed

Gains in shares of airlines Aer Lingus and Ryanair as well as online gambling companies couldn't offset weakness in Vodafone Group and Telecom Italia, with most European shares ending slightly lower Friday on the heels of mixed-bag U.S. jobs data.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed down 0.1 percent at 6001, while the German DAX Xetra 30 index inched 0.2 percent higher at 6,085 and the French CAC-40 lost 0.1 percent at 5,282.
Stocks were little moved after data showing the U.S. economy added 51,000 jobs in September. Economists had expected about 123,000 new jobs to be created in the month.
Though shy of expectations, investors appeared to read the data as a sign that U.S. interest rates would stay near current levels. The data garnered more than the usual degree of scrutiny, because European shares have lately moved back toward five-year highs reached earlier in the year on hopes that the U.S. economy's in for a soft landing.
"The biggest market call at the moment is whether you think the U.S. will survive or whether the crumbling foundations of the Florida property market are going to turn into something a bit more serious," said Andrew Lynch, a fund manager at Schroder Investment Management.
Aer Lingus shares rose 2.1 percent, building on gains Thursday after the company received a hostile takeover offer from Irish low-cost airline Ryanair. Ryanair shares rose 2 percent.
Meanwhile, shares of easyJet turned back from early gains to end down 0.5 percent after the low-cost carrier lifted its profit forecast following growth in September passenger traffic of 9.8 percent.
Online gambling shares recovered slightly from recent weakness on speculation over sector consolidation, with PartyGaming up 3.8 percent in the top London index.
Deutsche Bank downgraded Vodafone Group and Telecom Italia to hold from buy, leaving Vodafone shares finishing flat and Telecom Italia off 1 percent.
The bank said that on Vodafone, short-term catalysts it had been looking for, including a stabilization in financial results and several smaller asset disposals, have occurred. It said its Telecom Italia downgrade reflected a slight downward revision of performance estimates and the reduced chance of a change in management.
Banking-sector shares gained after a report that Spain's BBVA could be interested in merging with either Barclays or and Lloyds TSB. Shares of Barclays rose 1.8 percent in London, and Lloyds TSB added 0.6 percent.
Irish electricity firm Viridian Group added to recent merger-and-acquisition activity in the utility sector. Its shares jumped 7.9 percent after the company said it has agreed to be bought by a Bahrain investment group for US$3 billion (euro2.4 billion).
New York Stock Exchange specialist Van der Moolen declined 1.5 percent after a report said the Dutch firm could slash up to half its 200 U.S. jobs as part of the New York Stock Exchange's shift toward "hybrid" electronic trading.
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Sarah Turner is a correspondent for Dow Jones Newswires


Updated : 2021-05-12 16:20 GMT+08:00