European stocks fell and U.S. futures pointed lower on Friday, as investors awaited key American jobs data due later in the day.
The pan-European Stoxx 600
was 0.1% lower shortly after the open, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100
fell 0.3% and the French CAC
slipped 0.5%. The German DAX
was trading flat. Asian markets were mostly lower overnight, as U.S.-China tensions worried investors once again.
President Donald Trump issued executive orders late on Thursday banning “transactions” with the Chinese owners of TikTok and WeChat apps from Sept. 20. Shares in WeChat owner Tencent stock in Hong Kong sank as a result.
U.S. stock futures
dipped lower in early trading while investors were essentially waiting for nonfarm payrolls data to be released later on Friday. The consensus of economists polled by MarketWatch pointed to an increase of 1.7 million jobs in July — compared with the 4.8 million gain in June. Better-than-expected jobless claims data — the first drop in claims after two weeks of increases — helped stocks higher late on Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite
hit fresh record highs.
German industrial production rose 8.9% month-on-month in June, beating expectations and signaling a ‘V-shaped’ recovery. The sector expects production to keep increasing over the next three months, the Ifo economic institute said as it reported the survey results.
ING chief economist Carsten Brzeski said: “With all the risks of a second lockdown wave, an increase of permanent unemployment and structural changes to the economy stemming from COVID-19, it is however very unlikely that this ‘V’ will last for long.” French industrial production climbed 12.7%, also beating economists’ expectations.
Stocks in focus
stock fell 3%, on reports by the Financial Times that activist investor ValueAct has sold its entire stake in the British aircraft-engine maker. ValueAct had a 4.5% shareholding in Rolls-Royce, according to FactSet.
shares rose 1.5%, after the British drugmaker struck a deal for a Chinese company to produce its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in China. Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products will produce the vaccine, being developed by the University of Oxford, in mainland China if it is successful.
shares climbed 8%, as the online property site reported surging demand in June and July. Operating profit slumped 43% to £61.7 million in the first half of the year as the U.K. housing market ground to a near-standstill during lockdown.