* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.6 pct, dips from 6-1/2 yr high
* Index set to post fourth weekly gain in a row
* Focus on U.S. jobs data at 1230 GMT
* Citi sees stocks as 'super cheap' relative to credit
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Sept 5 European stocks fell on Friday as
traders cashed in on recent gains, fuelled by fresh monetary
stimulus in Europe, and awaited U.S. jobs data for insight on
growth and future interest rates in the world's largest economy.
After a surprise rate cut and other easing measures from the
European Central bank on Thursday, the focus shifted to the
outlook across the Atlantic, with investors weighing the
prospect of stronger economic growth against the chance of early
monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.
Economists predict that nonfarm payrolls, due at 1230 GMT,
increased 225,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey.
That would mark the seventh straight of U.S. job expansion above
200,000 jobs - a stretch last witnessed in 1997.
Should employment meet expectations it would add to recent
bullish data, though solid jobs growth alone would not be enough
to persuade the Fed to move early on rates.
"If there's a slight undershoot in the jobs number then the
market might choose to use that an excuse to take money out,"
Mike Franklin, investment strategist at Beaufort Securities,
At 1024 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.6 percent at 1,392.81 points,
retreating from a 6-1/2 year high hit in the previous session
but still set to record its fourth consecutive weekly gain.
Despite the day's dip, Judith Danan, head of sales trading
at CMC Markets France, said clients were strong buyers of
France's CAC 40, Spain's IBEX and Italy's MIB
"The market is cheering the new ECB measures. That said,
there's no guarantee that this will be enough to boost the euro
zone economy. It's going to take time to measure the impact on
consumer spending and capital expenditure," she said.
In the longer term, Jonathan Stubbs, equity strategist at
Citi, saw further gains in European stocks.
"European equities have returned 8 percent so far this year,
recovering strongly from the recent summer sell-off as bad news
- weaker macro data - has quickly become good news - more ECB
liquidity," he wrote in a note.
"European equities are... no longer cheap in absolute terms,
but still super cheap relative to other asset classes, such as
As indexes moved in a tight range, private bank Julius Baer
rose 1.4 percent in brisk volume as UBS upgraded the
stock to "buy" from "neutral" while making the reverse change on
larger rival Credit Suisse, down 1.5 percent.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris; editing by