UPDATE 1-European shares get cold feet ahead of U.S. jobs data
European shares were little changed on Friday ahead of a key payrolls data from the United States, while airline stocks benefited from weak oil prices as tensions in the Middle East faded. The pan-European STOXX 600 Index was 0.03% higher by 0907 GMT and was set to post moderate weekly gains.
The December non-farm payrolls data from the United States is due at 1330 GMT and is expected to have slowed from November, according to a Reuters poll. The figure is a key gauge of consumer strength and will help determine whether economic expansion in the world's largest economy is chugging along.
"I would just put (today's movement) down to a bit of profit taking before the figures," said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets in London. "We've had a good run, up at all-time highs, sentiment is probably positive - the Iranian issue appears to be put to bed - people are just sitting on their hands ahead of the report."
Travel and leisure stocks were the best performing sector, led by gains in major airline stocks Ryanair and Air France, as oil prices continued to decline. The travel and leisure index touched its highest level since May 2018, and was set to add 1.4% for the week.
On the other hand, the banking sector was the biggest decliner, with Spain's Bankia SA leading losses with a 2% dip. Data showed that industrial production in Spain and France rose more than expected in November, although analysts said that production had a long road ahead to sustained recovery, owing to languid global demand.
British retailer B&M was the worst performer on the STOXX 600 after it flagged weak sales growth in the key Christmas quarter. Laggard holiday sales have weighed on British consumer stocks, with updates from fashion brands Superdry and Marks And Spencer also coming in weak.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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