Stock indices closed lower on the U.S. labour market data. According to the U.S. Labor Department on Friday, the U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in January, missing expectations for a rise of 190,000 jobs, after a gain of 262,000 jobs in December.
Job creation slowed in January. That could mean that the Fed might delay its further interest rate hikes. The Fed hiked its interest rates by a 0.25% to between 0.25% and 0.50% in December.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in January from 5.0% in December. It was the lowest level since February 2008. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 5.0%.
Average hourly earnings climbed 0.5% in January, exceeding forecasts of a 0.3% gain, after a flat reading in December.
European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Bostjan Jazbec said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Friday that the central bank is ready to add further stimulus in March if needed. But he pointed out that further stimulus measures will depend on the incoming economic data.
Meanwhile, the economic data from the Eurozone was mixed. Destatis released its factory orders data for Germany on Friday. German seasonal adjusted factory orders declined 0.7% in December, missing expectations for a 0.5% decrease, after a 1.5% rise in November.
The drop was driven by a decrease in domestic orders. Foreign orders increased by 0.6% in December, while domestic orders dropped by 2.5%.
New orders from the Eurozone declined 6.9% in December, while orders from other countries climbed 5.5%.
Orders of the intermediate goods decreased by 2.0% in December, capital goods orders were down 0.5%, while consumer goods orders climbed 4.3%.
According to the French Customs, France's trade deficit narrowed to €3.94 billion in December from €4.53 billion in November, exceeding expectations for a decline to a deficit of €4.4 billion. November's figure was revised up from a deficit of €4.63 billion.
Exports declined 0.9% in December, while imports dropped 2.2%.
On a yearly basis, exports rose 1.8% in December, while imports gained 2.9%.
In 2015 as whole, the trade deficit fell to €45.7 billion from €58.3 billion in 2014.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 5,848.06 -50.70 -0.86 %
DAX 9,286.23 -107.13 -1.14 %
CAC 40 4,200.67 -27.86 -0.66 %