Investing.com - European stocks were higher in light trade on Monday, after Friday''s downbeat U.S. data fuelled fresh uncertainty over the future of the Federal Reserve''s stimulus program.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.29, France’s CAC 40 added 0.17%, while Germany’s DAX 30 rose 0.23%.
Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report showed that the U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs in December, the smallest increase since January 2011 and well below expectations for 196,000 new jobs.
The unemployment rate fell to a five year low of 6.7% from 7% in November, but this was due in part to people dropping out of the labor force.
The surprisingly weak data tempered expectations that the Fed would cut its stimulus program again this month. The Fed cited a stronger labor market in its decision to cut its asset purchase program by USD10 billion in December, reducing it to USD75 billion-a-month.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale jumped 1.10% and 1.56%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank surged 2.59%.
Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA rallied 1.08% and 2.25% respectively, while Italy''s Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit gained 1.13% and 1.57%.
Elsewhere, Alcatel-Lucent surged 4.30% amid reports the French network-equipment maker is in talks to sell its enterprise business to potential buyers.
In London, FTSE 100 edged up 0.16%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts sharply higher.
Shares in HSBC Holdings added 0.12% and Lloyds Banking jumped 1.10%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays rallied 2.07% and 2.31% respectively.
Mining stocks were also on the upside, as Glencore Xstrata edged up 0.20% and Polymetal rose 0.47%, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto climbed 0.31% and 0.96%.
Adding to gains, Debenhams soared 5.72% after Sports Direct International acquired a 4.63% stake in the U.K. department store and said it wants to work with the company at an operational level.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.16% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.20% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.18% slip.
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