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Europe: Shares open lower


[LONDON] European shares fell at the open on Friday, with the financial sector in focus as Spain's Banco Santander slumped more than 10 percent after announcing a capital increase and dividend cut to help fund its expansion.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.4 per cent at 0809 GMT, with national benchmark indexes in London, Paris and Frankfurt down 0.1 to 0.3 per cent.

The investor mood was subdued overall ahead of US non-farm payrolls data, following strong gains in the previous session driven by hopes that central banks would stick to their accommodative post-crisis stance. "An extremely positive number could cause some ripples particularly given the timing of a Fed rate hike, as it would suggest that any slack in the US labour market could disappear faster than anticipated," said Michael Hewson, CMC Markets analyst.