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European markets choppy as investors digest U.S. jobs data, central bank moves in region

LONDON — European stocks were mixed on Monday as investors continued to consider last week’s jobs data from the U.S. and central bank decisions in Europe.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered 0.1% below the flatline in early trade after opening up more than 0.7%. Retail stocks gained 0.8% while oil and gas slid 0.4%.

In terms of individual share price action, Finnish engineering company Kone added 2.9% to lead the Stoxx 600, while Spanish pharmaceutical firm Grifols fell 5%.

The choppy start on Monday came as central bank decisions last week continued to dominate market sentiment.

Last week, investors in the region digested the latest decision from the European Central Bank, which kept interest rates unchanged in spite of record inflation levels across the euro zone. The Bank of England, meanwhile, hiked rates in its first back-to-back interest rate rise since 2004.

Major European bourses, including the French CAC index and Germany’s DAX, dipped into negative territory on Friday, with the German index shedding 1.8%.

U.S. stocks rounded off last week with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite jumping Friday to finish their best week of the year, as continued strength in earnings reports extended the tech-led rebound from the January rout.

Traders on Friday also weighed a much stronger-than-expected jobs report and its potential impact on U.S. monetary policy going forward. U.S. stock index futures turned lower during overnight trading Sunday, while shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade, with mainland China markets rising as they reopened following the Lunar New Year holidays last week.

Earnings in Europe on Monday came from Sanofi, Vinci and Intesa Sanpaolo and data releases include Italian industrial output for December.

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