Amwal Al Ghad - 2012-10-05 11:13:46
European stock markets tracked gains on Wall Street and in Asia early Friday, with resource firms and banks leading the charge, while focus turned to jobs data from the U.S. due later in the day.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP +0.66% gained 0.5% to 272.74, on track to close out the week more than 1.5% higher.
Oil firm BP PLC UK:BP +0.65% BP +0.76% rose 0.6%. On Thursday, the company was among notable decliners after disruptions to gas flows to Turkey.
France’s Total SA FR:FP +0.89% TOT +0.46% gained 0.8%, while Italy’s ENI SpA IT:ENI +1.88% rose 1.4%.
For the broader stock markets, all eyes were on the U.S., where the closely watched nonfarm payrolls report will be released later in the day. Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed late Thursday that a weak labor market was one of the main reasons the central bank pulled the trigger on its third round of quantitative easing.
“The FOMC seems to be moving towards numerical thresholds in order to provide more clarity. There was a discussion on putting forward specific thresholds for unemployment and inflation to give guidance on how long rates would be close to zero,” analysts at Danske Bank said in a note.
“Many participants supported this view but some members thought this could incorrectly be interpreted as automatic triggers of policy response.”
U.S. stock markets closed higher, boosted by better-than-expected jobless claims data.
Asia markets were mostly higher overnight, although Japanese shares wobbled after the Bank of Japan refrained from announcing further stimulus measures.
The Bank of Russia also left its interest rates unchanged, despite signs of rising inflation.
On Thursday, the European Central Bank kept its key lending rate unchanged at 0.75% and stopped short of adding further stimulus to the sluggish euro-zone economy.
ECB President Mario Draghi, however, reiterated the central bank is ready to start buying government bonds, known as Outright Monetary Transactions, as soon as conditions are met by any nations in need of help.
“Perhaps the only new detail on the OMT’s mechanics was that the ECB intervention would not take place while a given program is under review and would only resume after the review period once program compliance has been assured,” analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a note. “Clearly a tactic to maintain the necessary reform pressure on governments.”
Investors are still closely monitoring Spain to see when, or if, the country will make an official bailout request, needed to trigger the bond purchase program aimed at reducing sovereign borrowing costs.
Spain's Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said Thursday that the country does not require a bailout. More»