U.S. data lifts European shares, but they log worst week in one year

October 4, 2019 3:39 AM

By Susan Mathew and Agamoni Ghosh

(Reuters) - European shares ended a tumultuous week on a high note on Friday as data showing modest U.S. jobs growth lifted sentiment slightly, pushing a pan-region index to its best day in more than three weeks.

The rally was led by sectors considered stable during times of economic uncertainty such as healthcare <.SXDP> and food and beverages <.SX3P> showing that worries still remain about the health of the global economy.

A raft of weak economic data from the United States and Europe, and threats of a transatlantic trade war between the European Union and the U.S, had knocked European shares this week, shaving nearly 4% off the pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> in its worst week in a year.

On Friday, the index rose 0.7% as U.S. jobs data eased fears about a sharp slowdown in the world's largest economy but it was not strong enough for investors to dial back on expectations of an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve next month.

"For as long as the Fed's move looks to be on an easing path I think equities are going to be gaining," said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard.

But he warned that the regional market may be getting ahead of itself as data out of Europe has been weak.

Technology stocks <.SX8P> rose 1.3%, with chipmakers jumping after a report said Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) would increase its iPhone 11 production. Shares of chipmakers AMS (NYSE: AMS), Infineon Technologies , STMicro (NYSE: STM) and Dialog Semiconductor (NASDAQ: DLGS) jumped between 2% and 4.3%.

London-listed shares <.FTSE> rose after four sessions of losses, but clocked their biggest weekly fall in a year, hurt by fresh Brexit worries and recession fears. Euro zone shares <.STOXXE> posted weekly losses not seen since early August.

(GRAPHIC - Global stocks: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/12/6921/6852/stocks.png)

Automakers <.SXAP> were the worst performers, down 0.3%, with BMW shedding 1.2% after an Australian regulator called for 20,000 cars with faulty Takata airbags to be kept off the roads, many of which include BMW cars.

Shares of London Stock Exchange Group plc (NYSE: LSE) rose 3% after reports that some of the bourse operator's shareholders told Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing <0388.HK> to increase its takeover offer by 20%.

Bank stocks <.SX7P> fell 0.2%, extending falls to a fourth session.

(Additional reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)



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