It’s been a quiet but positive start for European markets with large swathes of Asia headed for Lunar New Year celebrations ahead of the latest US unemployment report for January.
The lead up to the non-farm payrolls report has seen the dollar nosedive in what could be its worst weekly decline since 2011. With the dollar having already made its big move for the week, traders who are short the buck may take any positives from non-farm payrolls as a reason to book profits. Expectations are for 190k jobs created with unemployment at 5.0% and average earnings growth of 0.3%.
Mining shares have picked up where they left of, topping the FTSE 100 by a wide margin for a second day. After rising as much as 18% on Thursday, Anglo American is higher by over 8% on Friday with Antofagasta and BHP Billiton also top risers.
Shares of BG Group rose modestly after the energy company’s fourth quarter earnings beat expectations. The company returned to full-year pre-tax profit in 2015, earning $2.97bn compared with a loss of -$2.3bn in 2014.
Stocks in the US look set for a slightly higher start as toymakers Hasbro and Mattel announced talks of a possible merger while shares of LinkedIn are expected to lose a quarter of their value after issuing weak full-year guidance.
USA pre-opening levels
S&P 500: 3 points higher at 1,918
Dow Jones: 33 points higher at 16,449
Nasdaq 100: 5 points higher at 4,172
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