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Dec 2, 2016

European Markets Closing Report on December 2, 2016: Europe Closes Lower Amid Political Jitters; US Adds 178Jobs; Berkeley Soars 8%
Silvia Amaro, Sam Meredith
European bourses closed lower Friday as political uncertainty in Italy and France intensified and investors eyed key jobs data.

Italian referendum looms

The Stoxx 600 ended provisionally 0.32 percent lower with all major bourses and almost all sectors in the red. The French CAC 40 fell more than 0.5 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and German DAX were down 0.19 percent and 0.05 percent respectively.
Sunday's referendum in Italy continued to worry investors as it could spark fresh elections and complicate the recapitalization process of Italian banks. The Italian MIB ended a choppy final trading day before the upcoming referendum fractionally lower and Italian banks's shares finished mixed.

Furthermore, President Francois Hollande of France announced Thursday he would not be seeking a second term in the country's upcoming presidential election. Elsewhere, traders were eyeing the outcome of Sunday's Austrian presidential election re-run.

US unemployment falls to 4.6%

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average continued marginally lower Friday as investors digested key jobs data. Nonfarm payrolls increased 178,000 in November from the previous month. U.S. employment data hit 4.6 percent, its lowest level in nearly a decade.
This fresh data comes as global bond yields ticked higher on Thursday with increasing speculation that the Federal Reserve could hike rates later this month.

Basic resources on Friday contracted more than 2 percent at the start of the session, continuing its current slide on disappointing data and recent weakness in metal prices. Oil and gas stocks were also down by more than 1 percent with oil prices falling back after a strong surge this week.
Brent crude was up 0.22 percent as the European session closed and was trading around $54.06 a barrel while WTI rose 0.33 percent to $51.25 a barrel.

Berkeley Group up 8%

Meanwhile, shares of the Spanish Banco Popular have recovered slightly after reaching the bottom of the Stoxx 600 bank index on the news that the bank's chairman was being replaced.

Shares of Berkeley Group were up by more than 8 percent after the housebuilder announced a 34 percent increase in its pretax profits during the first half of the year.