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Nov 7, 2014 8:05 AM

World markets cautious ahead of US jobs report

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) Global stocks fluctuated on Friday ahead of the U.S. jobs report. Though Asian markets traded higher earlier, cheered by a record close on Wall Street, markets later sagged as investors became cautious in anticipation of the data release.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 shed 0.6 percent to 4,201.61 while Germany's DAX fell 0.5 percent to 9,328.09. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent to 6,587.15. U.S. shares, which closed at a record high Thursday, on the back of solid earnings reports, were set to have a flat open. Dow and S&P 500 futures were unchanged.

JOBS REPORT: A strong report on U.S. hiring from payrolls processor ADP suggested Friday's official monthly figures will show robust employment growth. If that is the case, it will allay lingering worries that the Fed's recent decision to withdraw its extraordinary stimulus, provided through a massive program of bond buying, was premature. Intended to spur economic recovery after the global recession, the stimulus helped markets defy gravity even in the face of poor company earnings or bad economic news.

THE QUOTE: "It does concern me that everyone is now positioned for a strong payrolls" report, said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia. "Although this seems fair given all the usual leading indicators have been strong. " He said forecasts for U.S. job creation in October range from 140,000 to 314,000 with 235,000 the consensus figure.

EUROPE STIMULUS: European stocks are coming off strong gains the day before, when the European Central Bank opened to the door to the possibility of more stimulus for the economy. It is under pressure to get Europe's recovery going and prevent prices from falling. Though the ECB decided Thursday to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged, its president, Mario Draghi, gave markets a boost by indicating the bank was ready to offer more stimulus, if needed.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.5 percent at 16,880.38 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.5 percent to 5,549.10. Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 1,939.87 but China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 percent to 2,418.17. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent to 23,550.24. Markets rose in Taiwan and Singapore while benchmarks in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines fell.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 115.31 yen from 114.58 yen late Thursday. The euro fell to $1.2395 from $1.2507.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 64cents to $78.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama


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