March 9, 2018 / 8:44 AM / 12 days ago

European shares edge down as focus turns to U.S. jobs

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LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - European shares opened slightly lower as investors held their nerve after the announcement of U.S. tariffs and the focus turned to the U.S. jobs report later on Friday.

It was upbeat jobs data last month that fanned speculation of faster rate rises in the United States, causing a rout in the bond market and hammering world equities.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.1 percent by 0815 GMT, with most sectors in the red except for defensive industries such as health care or utilities which made limited gains. There was caution over the apparent new entente between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Shares in Lagardere, the French media group behind the likes of Paris Match and Europe 1 radio, saw the biggest decline on the Stoxx, down 6.7 percent after disappointing annual results.

British satellite company Inmarsat slipped 6.2 percent after it said it would lower its dividend in 2018 and beyond to fund an investment drive in its aviation division after core earnings fell in the fourth quarter.

German industrial output data did little to lift sentiment, falling unexpectedly in January and signalling that factories in Europe’s largest economy are operating at a slower pace at the start of the year. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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