Europe’s markets open to close; key US jobs report, earnings in the spotlight

LONDON (AP) — European markets were slightly lower Friday morning as investors followed corporate earnings and awaited a key US jobs report.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.3% in late morning trading, with media shares shedding 1.3% to lead losses, while telecoms added 0.6%.

Markets have endured a cautious week as investors reacted to a slew of corporate earnings. The European blue chip index closed the previous session slightly above the flat line.

The Bank of England raised interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday and forecast UK inflation to peak at 13% in October and the economy to enter a prolonged recession in the fourth quarter.

Friday’s US employment report, to be released at 1:30pm London time, is likely to offer clues about the Fed’s monetary tightening path and the state of the US economy.

Economists expect 258,000 jobs to be added in July, up from 372,000 in June, according to Dow Jones. Unemployment is anticipated to remain stable at 3.6%.

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US stock futures were unchanged in early premarket trading as Wall Street looks to post modest gains for the week.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher overnight, with Taiwanese stocks leading gains in the region as investors brushed off China’s military drills following Taiwan’s House of Representatives Speaker’s visit to Taiwan. USA, Nancy Pelosi.

Earnings continued to drive individual stock price movement in Europe. Allianz, Deutsche Post, the London Stock Exchange Group and WPP were among the companies reporting before the bell on Friday.

UK financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown stood out in the Stoxx 600, adding 5.7% after beating earnings expectations, while Deutsche Post added 4.4% after beating second-quarter earnings expectations.

WPP fell more than 7% to the bottom of the index after the British ad giant released its first half results.

Turning to the data, French industrial production unexpectedly rose in June, posting a strong monthly increase of 1.4% despite forecasts of a 0.2% contraction amid persistent supply chain problems and the energy crisis.

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