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UPDATE 2-European shares flat after U.S. jobs data; pound weighs on FTSE 100

Stock Markets Feb 05, 2021 18:12
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© Reuters.

* German orders fall for first time in eight months
* Banks, tech, travel & leisure lead sectoral gains
* STOXX 600 posts best week since November
* Sanofi rises on stronger-than-expected Q4 results

(Updates to close)
By Shreyashi Sanyal and Susan Mathew
Feb 5 (Reuters) - European stocks were little changed at the
end of an upbeat week on Friday, with disappointing U.S. data
highlighting the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,
while in Germany industrial orders declined.
U.S. employment growth rebounded moderately in January but
job losses were deeper than initially thought, bolstering the
case for a large stimulus by President Joe Biden's
administration. MKTS/GLOB "The prospect of more stimulus remain elevated," said Edward
Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA. New York. "Any
profit-taking should be limited."
The STOXX 600 .STOXX posted its best weekly performance
since November with a rise of 3.5% despite a lacklustre session
on Friday, when gains in travel and leisure stocks .SXTP ,
basic materials .SXPP and banks .SX7P were countered by
losses in defensive sectors such as utilities .SX6P , telecoms
.SXKP and healthcare .SXDP .
Germany's DAX index .GDAXI was flat after data showed
orders for German-made goods fell more than expected in
December, ending a seven-month streak of positive reports as
fresh restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic subdued
demand from other euro zone countries. "Today's data shows that stricter lockdown measures since
mid-December, as well as the Christmas break, have finally hit
German industry ... but at face value, this only looks like a
temporary breather," strategists at ING wrote in a note.
London's FTSE 100 .FTSE slid 0.2%, extending losses to a
third straight session, as a higher pound GBP= weighed on the
internationally focused firms on the index. .L GBP/
Investors also parsed earnings reports from European
companies.
Sanofi SA SASY.PA gained 1.5% as the French drugmaker said
it aimed to grow earnings per share this year after posting
stronger-than-expected quarterly results. Shares in Vinci SGEF.PA were the biggest boost to the
STOXX 600 after Europe's biggest construction and concessions
company beat full-year core profit forecasts, helped by some
recovery in its contracting business. France's CAC 40 .FCHI
rose 0.9% to close at two-week high. Insurer Beazley BEZG.L logged its best day in eight weeks
as a loss in 2020 took a back seat to a forecast to return to
profit and bring back its dividend during the course of this
year. Finnish oil refiner Neste NESTE.HE fell 6.4% to the bottom
of the STOXX 600, after issuing a weak first-quarter outlook and
unexpectedly cut its dividend.

UPDATE 2-European shares flat after U.S. jobs data; pound weighs on FTSE 100
 

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