European Stocks Close Lower After Disappointing US Jobs Data

European stocks declined on Friday as US job growth in November hit the slowest pace this year, ending a week that was largely dominated by the newly discovered omicron variant of COVID-19.

The November employment report showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 210,000, well below the 550,000 jobs increase expected in a survey compiled by Bloomberg, while October payrolls saw a small upward revision to a 546,000 increase.

The Stoxx Europe 600 dipped 0.8%, Germany's DAX slipped 0.6% and France's CAC 40 fell 0.4%. The FTSE 100 in the UK and the Swiss Market Index were marginally lower.

The euro area's final services PMI increased to 55.9 in November from 54.6 in October, rebounding after several months of declines, IHS Markit said. However, the latest reading was below the flash figure of 56.6.

The eurozone's seasonally adjusted retail sales in October rose 0.3% month over month, beating estimation of a 0.2% growth, said statistical office Eurostat. On a yearly basis, retail trade jumped 1.4% in October, higher than the expected 1.2% growth.

The UK's IHS Markit/CIPS services PMI fell to 58.5 in November from a three-month high of 59.1 in October, IHS Markit said.

The reading, which missed the flash estimate of 58.6, marked the fastest rise in new business intakes for five months.

On the corporate front, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (SOBI.ST), or Sobi, declined over 24% after Advent International and Singapore's GIC owned Agnafit withdrew the 69.4 billion-kronor ($7.61 billion) takeover offer due to insufficient acceptances. AstraZeneca's (AZN, AZN.ST) rejection of the offer stopped the bid from hitting the 90% threshold required for shareholder approval, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.