Stock indices closed lower on drop in oil prices. Oil prices fell on news that Saudi Arabia might not agree to freeze its oil output. Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview with Bloomberg that the country would only freeze its oil output if Iran and other major oil producers will participate in such deal.
The U.S. labour market data was mixed. According to the U.S. Labor Department's data on Friday, the U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in March, exceeding expectations for a rise of 205,000 jobs, after a gain of 245,000 jobs in February. February's figure was revised up from a rise of 242,000 jobs.
The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 5.0% in March from 4.9% in February. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 4.9%.
Average hourly earnings in the U.S. increased 0.3% in March, beating forecasts of a 0.2% gain, after a 0.1% decline in February.
As the U.S. labour market continues to strengthen, the Fed could raise its interest rate gradually this year.
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.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,146.05 -28.85 -0.47 %
DAX 9,794.64 -170.87 -1.71 %
CAC 40 4,322.24 -62.82 -1.43 %