European markets flat after volatile week; investors await U.S. jobs report

European markets were muted on Friday after a roller-coaster week for global stocks, with investor focus now turning to a key U.S. jobs report.

.FTSE FTSE 100 *FTSE 7078.04 82.17 1.17 709629105
.GDAXI DAX *DAX 15250.86 0 0 0
.FCHI CAC 40 Index CAC 6601.24 1.05 0.02 2947383
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was little changed in early trade, with oil and gas stocks adding 0.9% while food and beverages fell 0.3%.

Markets in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Friday as Chinese stocks returned to trading after a week-long public holiday, with Japan leading gains in the region. New data on Friday also showed that Chinese services activity returned to positive levels.

Stateside, U.S. stock futures were little changed during early premarket trading on Friday, following a broad rally in Thursday’s regular session as the Senate agreed to raise the debt ceiling into December.

Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, a key indicator for the Federal Reserve as it prepares to slow its $120 billion-per-month bond-buying program, is expected by economists polled by Dow Jones to show that the U.S. economy added 500,000 jobs in September. This follows a big miss in August, when just 235,000 jobs were added against a consensus forecast of 720,000.

Back in Europe, Ireland relinquished its opposition to new global corporate tax rules on Thursday, agreeing to forego its 12.5% tax for large multinational corporations in a key development for efforts to install a worldwide minimum rate of “at least” 15%.

In corporate news, Stellantis is reportedly mulling splitting off two of its Opel plants in Germany, one of which is temporarily closing next week due to the global semiconductor shortage.

On the data front, German trade balance for August came in at +13 billion euros (+$15 billion) on a seasonally adjusted basis, slightly below a forecast of 15.8 billion euros.

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