European stocks are likely to open higher on Friday after a survey showed China’s services sector expanded at the sharpest pace in four months in April, driven by stronger consumer demand after Beijing’s success in containing the coronavirus.
The Caixin China services purchasing managers index climbed to 56.3 from 54.3 in March. Separately, official data showed that China’s exports and imports grew faster than expected in April.
Elsewhere in Japan, the country’s services sector activity contracted in April but the pace of decline eased to its slowest since around the time the health crisis started in early 2020.
Asian markets followed Wall Street higher and gold edged higher while the dollar index slipped to a one-week low against its rival as investors await the release of U.S. jobs data due out later in the day for more insights into the strength of the global recovery.
Economists expect U.S. employment to jump by 978,000 jobs in April after an increase of 916,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 5.8 percent from 6.0 percent.
Commodities traded mostly higher, with copper hitting a record while oil headed for a second straight weekly advance.
Investors shrugged off a Bloomberg report that the Biden administration is likely to preserve limits on U.S. investments in certain Chinese companies.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mostly higher after data showed applications for state unemployment insurance fell last week to a fresh pandemic low.
The Dow climbed 0.9 percent to reach another new record closing high, the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.4 percent.
European stocks ended Thursday’s session on a mixed note as investors digested a slew of earnings announcements, economic reports and the Bank of England’s policy statement.
The pan European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.1 percent. The German DAX edged up 0.2 percent, France’s CAC 40 index inched up 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained half a percent.
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