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European stocks closed little changed as a report showed U.S. employers added more jobs than economists had predicted.
U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs last month, following a revised 100,000 gain in November that was smaller than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009, while hours worked and earnings climbed.
Euro-area consumer confidence fell to the lowest in more than two years and unemployment remained at a 13-year high, according to data released today.
National benchmark indexes declined in 12 of the 14 western European markets open today. Germany’s DAX Index slipped 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 retreated 0.2 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.5 percent. Markets were closed in Greece, Finland, Sweden and Austria for a holiday.
BMW and Daimler each slid 1.1 percent respectively. Automakers fell 0.7 percent, among the largest drop of 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.
UniCredit tumbled 11 percent, the lowest level since 1992, after Italy’s biggest bank priced a 7.5 billion-euro ($9.6 billion) rights offer at a discount on Jan. 4. The Italian market regulator, Consob, said yesterday that it’s investigating the share move to verify whether its ban on short selling in financial stocks has been respected.
Man Group Plc fell 8.4 percent, the lowest in 11 years, after analysts cut their earnings estimates on the world’s biggest publicly traded hedge-fund manager.
Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile-phone operator, climbed 1.2 percent to 179.5 pence after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the shares to “buy” from “neutral,” saying a merger between the British company and Verizon Communications Inc. may be “attractive.”
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