European stock markets rose on Friday following unexpectedly strong US jobs data, despite this raising the odds that the Federal Reserve could soon reduce its huge stimulus injections. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.74 percent to 6,546.68 points in afternoon trading, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index jumped 0.97 percent to 9,173.31 points and in Paris the CAC 40 added 0.53 percent to 4,121.61 compared with Thursday's closing values. The European indices solidified their gains after the US Labor Department announced that the country's jobless rate fell sharply to 7 percent in November, the lowest level in five years. The drop in the rate, from 7.3 percent in October, was unexpected, and was accompanied by the creation of a solid 203,000 jobs. US stocks also bounced higher in opening trade, despite positive data often sending stocks tumbling as investors see it as a sign the Federal Reserve could soon begin cutting its bond-buying programme from the current $85 billion per month. At the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 0.35 percent to 15,876.41 points. The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.55 percent to 1,794.82, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.89 percent to 4,068.87. Marcus Bullus, trading director at MB Capital, said "in the event the equity markets took the good news as just that ?- good news." The data raises the likelihood the Fed will begin to cut bond buying stimulus when its monetary policy committee meets on December 17-18, he said. "But with the US economy piling on more than 200,000 jobs in three out of the past four months, and the recovery now well and truly entrenched, the markets have had plenty of time to factor in the withdrawal of the $85 billion a month crutch," added Bullus. The US Commerce Department also reported Friday that consumer spending picked up pace in October, despite a dip in income. Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in October, matching the average estimate and accelerating slightly from a 0.2 percent in increase in September. Personal income fell 0.1 percent instead of the 0.3 percent rise expected by most analysts. Economist Robert Wood at Berenberg Bank also believes there is more of a chance the Fed will begin winding down, or tapering its stimulus this month. But the US economy "seems to have weathered well the higher interest rates since the summer discussion of tapering, suggesting it is ready to digest the real thing," added Wood. In foreign exchange activity on Friday, the euro was steady at $1.3667 from $1.3666 late in New York on Thursday. The dollar rose to 102.68 yen from 101.77. The British pound rose to 1.1965 euros and $1.6369. Gold prices meanwhile rose to $1,230.75 an ounce on the London Bullion Market, up from $1,222.50. Asian equity markets mostly fell on Friday as better-than-forecast US growth data added to expectations the Fed will start to wind down its stimulus programme as early as this month. Sydney lost 0.23 percent, Shanghai finished 0.44 percent down and Seoul slid 0.22 percent, while Tokyo gained 0.81 percent in value. In company news on Friday, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell announced that it has abandoned plans to build a US facility to convert natural gas into diesel and other fuels, citing high costs. The news sent Shell's 'B' share price jumping 2.8 percent to 2,154.00 pence in London.