European Shares May Struggle For Direction Ahead Of US Jobs Data


European stocks may struggle for direction on Thursday amid signs that the U.S. economy is slowing. Trading volumes are likely to remain thin heading into Easter weekend.

The U.S. economic calendar remains light today, with a report on weekly jobless claims likely to attract attention.

The latest round of nonfarm payrolls will be published tomorrow despite the Good Friday holiday.

Industrial production and construction Purchasing Managers’ survey results from Germany are due later in day, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Asian markets traded mixed as investors weighed recession concerns against hopes that the Federal Reserve is in a better position to pause the current rate hike campaign.

China’s services sector activity expanded for a third straight month in March as the most recent wave of COVID-19 infections subsided, a private survey showed earlier today.

Elsewhere, India’s central bank unexpectedly kept the repo rate unchanged to support growth as the global economy witnesses a renewed phase of turbulence.

The dollar crept higher in Asian trading, pushing oil and gold prices lower.

U.S. stocks ended mostly lower overnight and Treasury yields hit seven-month lows as weak readings on private sector employment and service sector activity fanned fears of a recession.

The Dow inched up 0.2 percent led by Walmart and Johnson & Johnson, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.1 percent.

European stocks also finished mostly lower on Wednesday as regional surveys showed uneven recovery across industries and countries.

The pan European STOXX 600 eased 0.2 percent. The German DAX dropped half a percent and France’s CAC 40 shed 0.4 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent.

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