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Market Update

US Jobs Data Boosts European Markets, Seadrill Vaults 39%

Author: Lucy Stoeva
Last Update: 2:09 PM ET March 04 2016

4:00 PM Frankfurt, Germany - European market indexes recorded solid gains after the strong U.S. jobs report. Norway-based Seadrill surged 38.8% on debt refinancing speculation. Gemalto soared 9.1% to a seven-year high, after the software maker forecasted rising profitability in 2016.

European stocks recorded solid gains on Friday after a strong monthly report on U.S jobs alleviated concerns about a recession in the U.S.

The American economy added 242,000 nonfarm jobs in February and unemployment rate was flat at 4.9%. The average hourly wage, however, fell $0.03 cents, or 0.1%, to $25.35.

Rising prices of major industrial metal led to more gains for mining shares. Glencore surged 11.9%, Anglo-American advanced 11.1%, BHP Billiton gained 9.1%, and Antofagasta rose 7.7%.

Seadrill skyrocketed 38.8% on speculations about debt refinancing of the Oslo-based drilling company.

In Amsterdam, Gemalto soared 9.1%, a seven-year high, after the software developer estimated rising profitability in 2016.

In Italy, economic growth slowed down to 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to government statistics agency Istat.

In addition, Italian banking stocks came under pressure after the European Central Bank required a new business plan from Banca Carige.

Banca Carige tumbled 9.6% on the news, while Banco Populare Societe Cooperativa fell 4.2%, UniCredit lost 2.2%, and Unione di Banche Italiane was down 1.9%.

The FTSE 100 index rose 68.97, or 1.13%, to 6,199.43, while the DAX index gained 72.25, or 0.74%, to 9,824.17.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index added 40.54, or 0.92%, to 4,456.62.

London Stock Exchange Group Plc declined 1.31% to 2,855 pence after the company reported an increase in 2015 profits and said a merger with Deutsche Boerse would be ""compelling.""

In Frankfurt, shares of Deutsche Boerse declined 2.02% to 76.62.

LSE said the potential merger, still discussed by the two companies, would lead to substantial revenue and cost benefits. LSE did not mention a potential bid from Intercontinental Exchange.

Under the proposed merger, LSE would own 45.6% of the new entity, while Deutsche Boerse would control the remaining 54.4%.

For 2015, the UK stock exchange said adjusted pre-tax profit increased 31% to 643.4 million.

Results surpassed markets expectations, with EBITDA of 769 million and earnings per share of 129.4 pence in 2015.

Gemalto soared 9.12% to 64.48, a seven-year high, after the Amsterdam-based software developer estimated rising profitability in 2016 due to growth in secure products for bank transactions and electronic documents.

Revenue increased 16% in 2015 to 3.1 billion due to solid growth in payment, government programs and machine-to-machine business segments, as well as the addition of SafeNet.

Operating profit was up 10.4% to 423 million from a year ago with profit margin of 13.5%.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc