On course for positive week ahead of U.S. payrolls

LONDON — European markets were mixed on Friday as investors digested a key jobs report out of the U.S.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered fractionally below the flatline by mid-afternoon, having fluctuated since the open. Autos added 2.7% while basic resources dropped 1.1%.

Global investors on Friday turned their focus stateside to the June employment report, which came in stronger than expected and will likely keep the Federal Reserve on track for continued aggressive rate hikes.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 372,000 in the month of June, well ahead of the 250,000 expected by economists in a Dow Jones poll, according to data published Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Fed is closely watching the labor market alongside inflation prints as it charts its course for monetary policy tightening, a central factor in the market’s assessment of the likelihood of recession.

At the top of the European blue chip index, Austrian oil and gas company OMV jumped 7% after a promising second-quarter trading update.

Tag Immobilien shares fell more than 9% to the bottom of the index after the German real estate company resolved a capital increase.

Despite uncertain trade on Friday, stock markets in Europe are on course for a positive week after a 2% bounce on Thursday built on gains from the previous session.

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