European stocks remain stable as investors wait for US jobs data

European stocks remain stable as investors wait for US jobs data

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European stocks and Wall Street futures were steady on Friday after euro-zone inflation fell more-than-expected in December and investors eyed the release of a key US jobs report.

The regional Stoxx Europe 600 was flat, while London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3% and France’s Cac 40 rose 0.3%. The German Dax increased by 0.1 percent.

The muted moves in European stock markets came after euro-zone-wide rapid consumer price index fell to 9.2 percent in December from 10.1 percent in November. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a 9.5 percent increase over the previous year.

Data released earlier this week showed that price pressures eased more than expected in Germany, France and Spain towards the end of 2022, easing pressure on the European Central Bank to maintain its aggressive stance on inflation.

Contracts tracking Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 edged higher, while contracts tracking the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 fell 0.1 percent ahead of the New York open.

US stocks were sold in the previous session after private sector employment in the world’s largest economy rose 235k in December, beating estimates according to payroll processor ADP. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics later on Friday are expected to lend further weight to the Federal Reserve’s arguments that the job market remains too tight to justify lower borrowing costs.

Economists polled by Refinitiv expect the US to add 200,000 jobs in December, compared to 263,000 in November and 261,000 in October. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 3.7 percent, near pre-pandemic lows.

“Signs of strength in the US jobs market are understandably interpreted as continuing both the Fed’s concerns about tight job markets and its concern about suppressing inflation,” said Chris Turner, global head of markets at ING.

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