LONDON (MarketWatch)—Europe’s benchmark stock index extended gains into a fifth straight day on Friday, after erasing losses in volatile afternoon action on the back of stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs numbers.
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.21% ended 0.2% higher at 373.31, after trading as low as 370.93 earlier in the day. For the week, the index closed up 1.7%.
The turnaround came after the nonfarm-payrolls report from the U.S. showed 257,000 new jobs were added to the economy in January, beating analyst projections of 230,000. The unemployment rate, however, climbed to 5.7% from 5.6%, as more people entered the workforce. U.S. stock futures moved firmly higher after the data.
In Europe, banks led the move north for the Stoxx 600, with shares of Barclays PLC BARC, +2.67% BCS, +2.03% up 2.7%, Bankia SA BKIA, +3.14% 3.1% higher and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA BMPS, +2.95% rising 3%.
The optimism over the U.S. jobs report wasn’t enough to shift all of Europe out of negative gear. Greece’s Athex Composite GD, -1.97% closed down 2% at 803.36, following a whirlwind week of meetings by Greek officials as they laid the groundwork for debt-renegotiation talks with international creditors.
Eurozone finance ministers have called an emergency meeting for Wednesday to discuss how to get Greece and the rest of Europe closer to a debt agreement. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece won’t accept any deal at the Eurogroup meeting that keeps the bailout program as it is now, Reuters reported Friday. Earlier in the week, Varoufakis stepped up his push for eurozone partners to accept a bridge loan so Greece could have more time to renegotiate, but Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Friday killed any hope that eurozone governments will grant such short-term financing.
The Greek index fell more than 3% on Thursday after the European Central Bank restricted liquidity to Greek banks. On Friday, National Bank of Greece shares ETE, -11.40% were down 11%, Alpha Bank ALPHA, -11.76% slid 12%, and Eurobank Ergasias EUROB, -9.40% dropped 9.4%. Read: Greeks swiftly move capital to Germany as crisis looms
But the Athens benchmark still posted an 11% weekly advance, largely because of Tuesday’s jump of 11% after Greece’s finance minister indicated the country won’t ask the eurozone for a debt haircut.
Among other European benchmarks, Germany’s DAX 30 index DAX, -0.54% lost 0.5% to 10,846.39, while France’s CAC 40 index PX1, -0.26% fell 0.3% to 4,691.03. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UKX, -0.18% fell 0.2% to 6,853.44.
Tate & Lyle PLC TATE, -13.69% moved sharply lower in London, with its shares sliding 14% after the ingredients maker said it expects full-year profit to come in below its previous forecast. Weak performance in its bulk-ingredients unit in the third quarter is likely to run through the fourth quarter, it said.
Germany engineering heavyweight Siemens AG SIE, -0.82% SIEGY, -2.08% fell 1% after saying it will cut about 7,800 jobs world-wide as part of a restructuring program announced last year. The cuts will include 3,300 in Germany, which is considered the powerhouse of the European economy. Siemens shares were off 1.4% in Frankfurt.
Shares of Fresenius SE FRE, -2.21% lost 2.3% after Jefferies cut its rating on the health-care group to hold from buy.