European Shares Set For Weak Open As Investors Await US Jobs Report

European stocks are seen opening slightly lower on Friday, as caution prevails ahead of the closely watched U.S. monthly employment report for November, due out later in the day.

Economists expect employment to jump by 200,000 jobs in November after an increase of 261,000 jobs in October. The jobless rate is expected to hold at 3.7 percent.

A cool-off in employment figures would be a welcome sign for Federal Reserve officials who have more work to do in tightening policy.

Asian markets succumbed to selling pressure and the dollar edged off 16-week lows against a basket of currencies, while gold eased but was on track for its best week in three.

Oil prices edged up slightly and were on track for their first weekly gains after three consecutive weeks of decline.

Media reports suggest that the European Union was edging closer to setting a USD 60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as investors reacted to a mixed batch of economic data.

While U.S. manufacturing activity shrank for the first time in 2-1/2 years in November, consumers’ incomes and expenditures increased in October and first-time unemployment benefits declined during Thanksgiving week, separate reports showed. A measure of inflation that is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve eased but remained at an elevated level in October.

The Dow dipped 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 slipped marginally while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.1 percent.

European stocks hit a six-month high Thursday on the back of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s dovish remarks on the pace of potential rate hikes and signs of easing COVID curbs in China.

The pan European STOXX 600 climbed 0.9 percent. The German DAX gained 0.7 percent and France’s CAC 40 index inched up 0.2 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 eased 0.2 percent.

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