Europe Stocks Little Changed as Wage Growth Strengthens in U.S.

FTSE on Fire as Stoxx 600 Closes Up for the Week

European stocks closed little changed, posting their best weekly start to a year since 2013, after data signaled a robust U.S. labor market.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell less than 0.1 percent at the close, paring a decline of as much as 0.4 percent. American wages increased the most since 2009, while a 156,000 gain in December followed a November rise that was better than previously forecast.

The European benchmark on Jan. 3 entered a bull market, months after global peers. Despite a 1.1 percent gain this week, its members are trading more cheaply than those on the S&P 500 index, on an estimated earnings basis.

  • The U.S. employment data follows minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting that showed officials were more concerned about a stronger currency. The dollar fell against the euro for the previous two days before rebounding on Friday.
  • Miners led declines in the Stoxx 600, along with defensive shares including utilities and health-care firms, while banks and real estate firms gained. The moves indicate a break from a trend that has seen a rotation into cyclical shares and out of those deemed more immune to economic growth.
  • Sanofi fell 2 percent after Amgen Inc. won a court ruling blocking the French drugmaker and its partner from selling their cholesterol-lowering drug in the U.S.
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