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    01.04.2016 10:01 European stock markets mid session: stocks traded lower ahead of the U.S. labour market data

    Stock indices traded lower ahead of the release of the U.S. labour market data later in the day. Analysts expect that U.S. unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 4.9% in March. The U.S. economy is expected to add 205,000 jobs in March, after adding 242,000 jobs in February.

    Market participants also eyed the economic data from the Eurozone. Markit Economics released its final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the Eurozone on Friday. Eurozone's final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) climbed to 51.6 in March from 51.2 in February, up from the preliminary reading of 51.4.

    The rise was driven by a faster growth in production and new orders.

    "Although the PMI ticked higher, March still saw the second-weakest improvement in manufacturing conditions seen for just over a year. The data suggest manufacturing grew by only around 0.2% in the first quarter, acting as a drag on the wider economy," Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said.

    "Policymakers will also be worried by the further intensification of deflationary pressures in manufacturing supply chains, with prices charged at the factory gate falling at the steepest rate since late-2009," he added.

    Germany's final Markit/BME manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.7 in March from 50.5 in February, up from the preliminary reading of 50.4. The index was mainly driven by rises in output and new business. Employment declined in March.

    France's final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) decreased to 49.6 in March from 50.2 in February, in line with the preliminary reading. The index was driven by drops in new business and output prices. Output rose slightly.

    Markit Economics released its manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.K. on Friday. The Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply manufacturing PMI for the U.K. increased to 51.0 in March from 50.8 in February, missing expectations for a rise to 51.2.

    The increase was driven by a rise in new business.

    "The UK manufacturing sector remained in the doldrums during the opening quarter of the year. Although March saw modest improvements in the trends for production and new orders, industry is still hovering close to the stagnation mark and will struggle to make a meaningful contribution to the next set of GDP growth figures," Markit's Senior Economist Rob Dobson said.

    Current figures:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 6,101.74 -73.16 -1.18 %

    DAX 9,799.4 -166.11 -1.67 %

    CAC 40 4,309.77 -75.29 -1.72 %

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