European stocks opened higher on Friday, as investors were awaiting the release of a highly anticipated U.S. jobs report later in the day for further indications on the future of the Federal Reserve''s stimulus program.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 edged up 0.17%, France’s CAC 40 added 0.23%, while Germany’s DAX 30 climbed 0.50%.
On Thursday, the European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.25%.
Following the decision, ECB President Mario Draghi said that risks to the economic outlook remained on the downside. He also warned the euro zone could face a prolonged period of low inflation.
Financial stocks were mixed, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale rose 0.44% and 0.05%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank slid 0.39%.
Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander declined 0.24% and 0.51% respectively, while Italy''s Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit eased up 0.05% and 0.15%.
Elsewhere, Total rallied 1.11% after Europe’s third-biggest oil company agreed to buy a stake in InterOil Corp.’s assets in Papua New Guinea.
Meanwhile, Givaudan saw shares plunge 3.56% after Nestle said it will sell shares worth USD1.27 billion of the world’s largest flavorings maker.
In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.23%, supported by gains in the financial sector.
Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland inched up 0.05% and Lloyds Banking added 0.35%, while HSBC Holdings gained 0.45% and Barclays advanced 0.74%.
Adding to gains, U.K. homebuilder Berkeley Group Holdings soared 9.60% after reporting that first-half revenue increased 20%.
On the downside, Shire Plc tumbled 1.51% after the drugmaker’s Lifitegrast, a treatment for dry eye disease, met one goal in a study for eye dryness and missed another for inferior corneal staining.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.27% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.31% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.20% gain.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release government data on nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, while the University of Michigan was to produce the preliminary reading of its consumer sentiment index.
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