European Shares Seen Steady Ahead Of US Jobs Report

European stocks are seen opening largely unchanged on Friday as traders refrain from making big bets ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later today that could offer fresh insight into the timing of Federal Reserve tapering.

Economists expect U.S. employment to increase by 488,000 jobs in September after an increase of 235,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent.

Closer home, Destatis is slated to issue German foreign trade data for August later in the day. Exports are forecast to grow 0.5 percent month on month, the same rate as posted in July. At the same time, imports are expected to fall 1.8 percent sequentially, slower than the 3.8 percent fall a month ago.

Asian markets were mostly higher after U.S. lawmakers temporarily averted a possible government debt default and a survey showed activity in China’s services sector returned to growth in September, thanks to the fading impact of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, China will deepen its loan prime rate (LPR) reforms and gradually make deposit rates market driven, vice central bank governor Liu Guoqiang said in remarks published today.

On Thursday, central bank Governor Yi Gang said that China will continue taking steps to curb monopolistic behavior among internet platform companies and strengthen the protection of consumer privacy and data security.

The U.S. dollar held steady against a basket of currencies and gold traded flat while oil headed for a seventh weekly gain, the longest run since December, after the U.S. Energy Department said that it had no plans “at this time” to tap the nation’s oil reserves.

U.S. stocks rose overnight as data showed a bigger-than-expected drop in new jobless claims last week and lawmakers reached an agreement to temporarily extend the debt limit through early December, avoiding a potential default.

The Dow rallied 1 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.1 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.8 percent.

European stocks rallied on Thursday as bond yields retreated and concerns about a full-blown energy crisis eased.

The pan European Stoxx 600 jumped 1.6 percent. The German DAX surged 1.9 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gained 1.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 advanced 1.2 percent.

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