European Shares Mixed, But Trade Cautious Ahead of US Jobs Data on Friday


European stocks were mixed as investors weighed mixed data and company news, but trade was cautious ahead of US jobs data.

The key monthly US jobs report is due on Friday. On Wednesday, ADP jobs data showed 175,000 private-sector jobs were added in January, missing Bloomberg's median estimate for 185,000.

Around the region, retail sales fell 1.6% in the euro zone in December. November sales were revised sharply lower, to a gain of 0.9% from a prior 1.4% rise.

Markit said its composite Purchasing Managers Index for the euro zone rose to 52.9 in January from 52.1 in December, signaling the most rapid expansion since June 2011. However, the final January reading was lower than the preliminary estimate of 53.2 released last month.

U.K. services unexpectedly slowed last month. Data firm Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply's monthly services purchasing managers index slipped to 58.3 in January from December's 58.8, which was weaker than economists' forecasts of a small gain to 59.0.

Activity in Spain's services sector increased at the fastest pace in six-and-a-half years in January, with the first rise in employment since February 2008.

In ADR news, ING Groep ( ING ) was added to Credit Suisse Group's European focus list. Credit Suisse said ING may announce new targets and a dividend policy at its investor meeting March 31.

GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK ) posted a full-year sales gain after two years of falling revenue.

Novo Nordisk ( NVO ) rose after Nordea Bank AB said a recent study showed Sanofi's ( SNY ) Lantus insulin drug isn't superior to NVO's Victoza treatment.

Syngenta AG ( SYT ) reported full-year net income of $1.64 billion and sales of $14.7 billion. That missed estimates for profit of $1.7 billion and revenue of $14.9 billion.

ArcelorMittal (MT) is upgraded to overweight from neutral at HSBC.

The FTSE-100 was last up 0.13% at 6,457.89, the DAX down 0.13% at x9,116.32 and the CAC-40 up 0.01% at 4,117.79.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: GSK , ING , NVO , SNY , SYT

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