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European Stocks Close 0.5% Higher as Investors Digest Strong U.S. Payrolls Report

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  • Stock markets in Europe ended the week in positive territory.
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed the day almost 0.5% higher, with most sectors in the green.
  • Focus for global investors on Friday turned stateside to the June employment report, which showed another strong month of hiring.

LONDON — European markets closed higher on Friday as investors digested a key jobs report out of the U.S.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed the session almost 0.5% higher, with most sectors in the green. Autos were the top performer of the day, ending up 3.2%, while utilities closed 0.6% lower.

On Wall Street, the major indices moved slightly higher after a stronger than expected June employment report suggested that the Federal Reserve will stay the course with its aggressive rate hikes.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 372,000 in the month of June, well ahead of the 250,000 expected by economists in a Dow Jones poll, according to data published Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Fed is closely watching the labor market alongside inflation prints as it charts its course for monetary policy tightening, a central factor in the market's assessment of the likelihood of recession.

At the top of the European blue chip index, Germany's Commerzbank closed up 7.8%. Austrian oil and gas company OMV, meanwhile, ended up 6.6% after a promising second-quarter trading update.

At the other end, Swedish real estate business Fabege closed 9.6% lower as profits fell in its second quarter report. Tag Immobilien shares were also down more than 6% after the German real estate company resolved a capital increase.

Sterling hovered over $1.20 mark on Friday, having initially climbed on Thursday after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he would step down as more than 50 MPs resigned from his government.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Friday, but Japanese stocks gave back some earlier gains and the yen rose on news that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been critically injured after a shooting at a campaign event. Abe died from his injuries later on Friday.

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