European Shares Seen Lower Ahead Of Key Data

European stocks are likely to open lower on Friday as caution prevails ahead of China’s January trade data and a key U.S. jobs report due out later in the day.

U.S. employment is expected to increase by about 160,000 jobs in January after an increase of 145,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the official Chinese death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 636 and total infections climbed past 31,000.

Asian markets retreated after sharp gains the previous day as China announced a tariff cut on U.S. imports as part of a trade truce with Washington.

The U.S. dollar held near a two-week high versus the yen and gold held steady while oil prices rose after Russia agreed to the OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee’s recommendation for an output cut of 600,000 barrels per day through June.

Industrial production and foreign trade figures from Germany are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Overnight, U.S. stocks extended recent gains to reach fresh record closing highs after China said it would cut in half tariffs on some $75 billion of U.S. imports beginning Feb. 14.

Markets also took note of a barrage of mostly upbeat economic data and Trump’s acquittal of impeachment charges.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rose around 0.3 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index added 0.7 percent.

European markets also extended a rally, with underlying sentiment helped by
upbeat economic data from the euro area and the U.S. and a warming of trade relations between the United States and China.

The pan European 600 gained 0.4 percent. The German DAX climbed 0.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 index advanced 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.3 percent.

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