Europe trades lower ahead of US jobs data – CNBC

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European stocks trades lower on Friday as markets err on the side of caution ahead of the latest U.S. jobs data.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was trading 0.47 percent lower on Friday with all sectors in negative territory apart from utilities.

Shares of ArcelorMittalwere down 4 percent making it the worst performer on France’s CAC index despite the steelmaker saying on Friday that it was slightly more positive about the steel market, with a modest improvement in the outlook for China, although it kept its own forecast for 2016 earnings unchanged, Reuters reported.

Easyjet shares were down 0.8 percent after the budget airline reported a 6.1 percent rise in passenger numbers in April. Easyjet’s load factor, a measure of tickets sold, fell however, to 90.4 percent in April, down from 90.8 percent.

InterContinental shares were also 2.4 percent lower despite the hotel group reporting a rise in first-quarter global room revenue. The group also said it was confident for the rest of the year, Reuters reported.

Shares of PSA Peugeot Citroen were up 0.5 percent on the CAC index following news that the carmaker was to invest over 600 million euros ($684 million) in a new project in Spain that includes building a new car, Reuters reported.

Shares of Monte dei Paschi di Siena were trading 4.7 percent higher after the Italian bank reported on Thursday first quarter net income that beat analyst expectations.

The best performer on London’s FTSE index was Randgold Resources, up 2.7 percent, and the worst performer on the index was British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat, down 6 percent, after the company warned on Thursday that sales could be lower this year.

Global investors are awaiting the key employment report from the U.S. on Friday for the latest clues on the state of the economy’s health. Due at 8:30 a.m. ET (13:30 London time) the payrolls number could also influence the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise interest rates in June.

Hiring was expected to have continued at a strong pace in April, even as the economy grows at a sluggish pace. According to Reuters, economists forecast 202,000 jobs were added in the month. The unemployment rate was expected to be unchanged at 5 percent, while average hourly wages were expected to have grown by 0.3 percent.

Oil prices were steady on Friday after a run up on supply disruptions, especially in the Americas, where wildfires continue to rage near Canada’s huge oil sand fields, tightening a market suffering global oversupply, Reuters reported.

In Asia overnight, shares lost ground as investors awaited the non-farm payroll numbers, but Australian shares retraced some declines after the central bank lowered its inflation forecast.

-CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed to this market report.

Europe trades lower ahead of US jobs data – CNBC