European markets pulled back slightly on Friday after a roller-coaster week for global stocks, with investor focus now turning to a key U.S. jobs report.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.35% in early trade, with autos adding 1.1% while tech stocks fell 1% to lead losses.
Markets have fluctuated hard over the past week as global investors assess the possibility of persistent high inflation, with U.S. bond yields driving jitters for growth-oriented tech stocks.
Markets in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Friday as Chinese stocks returned to trading after a week-long public holiday, with Japan leading gains in the region. New data on Friday also showed that Chinese services activity returned to positive levels.
Stateside, U.S. stock futures were little changed during early premarket trading on Friday, following a broad rally in Thursday’s regular session as the Senate agreed to raise the debt ceiling into December.
Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, a key indicator for the Federal Reserve as it prepares to slow its $120 billion-per-month bond-buying program, is expected by economists polled by Dow Jones to show that the U.S. economy added 500,000 jobs in September. This follows a big miss in August, when just 235,000 jobs were added against a consensus forecast of 720,000.
Back in Europe, Ireland relinquished its opposition to new global corporate tax rules on Thursday, agreeing to forego its 12.5% tax for large multinational corporations in a key development for efforts to install a worldwide minimum rate of “at least” 15%.
In corporate news, Stellantis is reportedly mulling splitting off two of its Opel plants in Germany, one of which is temporarily closing next week due to the global semiconductor shortage.
On the data front, Germany’s trade balance for August came in at positive 13 billion euros (positive $15 billion) on a seasonally adjusted basis, slightly below a forecast of 15.8 billion euros.
In terms of individual share price movement, Denmark’s Netcompany climbed 5.6% to lead the Stoxx 600 after announcing the acquisition of Luxembourg’s Intrasoft International.
At the bottom of the index, Tui plunged more than 14% as further flight and holiday cancellations continued to bite. The Anglo-German travel operator is planning a 1.1 billion euro capital increase to service a spike in demand for holidays.
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