- US non-farm payrolls rise unexpectedly
- German factory orders fall more than forecast
- UK inflation expectations and house prices rise
FTSE 100: 0.75%
CAC 40: 0.77%
FTSE MIB: 0.73%
IBEX 35: 0.17%
Stoxx 600: 0.64%
European stocks ended the week on a high note after a better-than-expected US jobs report.
US non-farm payrolls increased by 203,000 in November, compared with a revised 200,000 gain the month before and well ahead of the consensus forecast for 185,000. The unemployment rate fell to 7% from 7.3%, below the 7.2% rate estimated by analysts.
Concerns that the positive figures would prompt the Federal Reserve to begin reducing monetary stimulus were outweighed by an improved outlook for the economy.
Marcus Bullus, Trading Director MB Capital, said that while the solid report will have undoubtedly increased taper speculation, markets have had plenty of time to factor in the move and the data shows that "the recovery [is] now well and truly entrenched".
"With the resurgent economy able to sail over hurdles like the government shutdown without missing a step, there is a growing consensus that it will take tapering in its stride just as easily. Tapering is coming, but it holds ever less fear for the bulls," he said.
In another boost to the economic outlook, a flash reading for the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index rose more than forecast to 82.5 in December from 75.1 the prior month. Economists had predicted at rise to 76.
German factory orders, UK inflation expectations
German factory orders declined 2.2% in October from September when they rose a revised 3.1%, according to the Economy Ministry in Berlin. The consensus forecast was for a fall of of 1%.
The report signals a slump in Europe's largest economy at time when the bloc is experiencing a weak recovery.
Nevertheless, European Central Bank (ECB) member Ewald Nowotny said that the Eurozone recession was over and it was time to focus on policies to bolster the economy.
He explained that all of the region's member states will register growth in 2014 with the exception of Cyprus, adding that "fiscal and monetary policies must give this growth a chance".
In the UK, inflation expectations over the next 12 months rose to 3.6% in the UK in November, according to the latest survey from the Bank of England/GfK NOP.
Another report from Halifax showed UK house prices rose 1.1% November compared to the previous month and were up by 7.7% on the year.
The data provided a boost to housing stocks including Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon.
Housebuilder Berkeley Group also surged after reporting a 19.2% rise in first-half profits of £169.2m in the first half, driven by strong demand in the housing sector. Government schemes including Help to Buy and Funding for Lending helped to spur the market.
LSE, Total SA
London Stock Exchange gained after Bank of America Corp. Merrill Lynch upgraded its rating to 'buy' from 'neutral'.
Total SA jumped after Europe's third-biggest oil company agreed to buy a stake in InterOil Corp.'s assets in Papua New Guinea.
FirstGroup rallied as the rail company named John McFarlane as its Chairman from January 1st to replace Martin Gilbert.
TNT Express edged lower as Dutch mail service PostNL said it will sell about half of its 29.8% stake in the pack-delivery company to reduce debt.
Givaudan SA declined as Nestle SA said it will sell shares
worth $1.27bn of the world's largest flavourings maker.
Euro strengthens against dollar
The euro rose 0.22% to $1.3697.
Brent crude increased $0.305 to $111.320 per barrel on the ICE.