The UK market is notably higher in afternoon trading Friday, as some solid corporate reports from the region helped offset the disappointment from the European Central Bank's inaction, ahead of the key jobs report from the U.S.
The ECB on Thursday decided to leave interest rates unchanged and hinted that it "may undertake outright open market operations." However, ECB chief Mario Draghi announced no concrete measures such as bond purchases of struggling peripheral nations to curb the region's debt crisis.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is climbing 2.58 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is dropping 1.30 percent.
The FTSE 100 index is adding 1.41 percent.
Banks are notably higher. Royal Bank of Scotland, which reported a narrower loss for the second quarter, is surging 5.1 percent.
BHP is up 1.9 percent. The miner said it would incur $3.29 billion in write-downs related to its U.S. shale and Australian nickel assets, citing low US gas prices and margin deterioration.
Temporary power provider Aggreko is climbing 4.6 percent and insurer Aviva is advancing 5 percent.
International Consolidated Airlines is losing 4.3 percent after reporting a loss for the second quarter and cutting its full year profit forecast.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is climbing 2.14 percent and the French CAC 40 is adding 2.42 percent. Switzerland's SMI is rising 0.75 percent.
In economic news, Eurostat reported that Eurozone retail sales volume rose 0.1 percent month-on-month in June, in contrast to a 0.1 percent fall forecast by economists.
The British service sector expanded at the slowest pace in nineteen months in July, data from a survey by Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply showed. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the service sector dropped to 51 in July from 51.3 in June.
China's non-manufacturing sector growth eased in July as inflow of new orders weakened, the latest survey by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the services sector fell to 55.6 in July from 56.7 in the previous month.
Across Asia/Pacific, major markets ended mostly lower. Australia's All Ordinaries and Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 1.1 percent each, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.1 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 1.1 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index, however, added 1 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open. In the previous session, the Dow and the S&P 500 dropped about 0.7 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.4 percent.
The Labor Department is scheduled to release its monthly non-farm payroll report at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect non-farm payrolls for July to increase by 100,000 compared to the 80,000 jobs added in June, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.2 percent. The private sector is expected to have added 110,000 jobs.
In the commodity space, September crude is rising $1.09 to $88.22 per barrel and gold for December delivery is adding $8.1 to $1598.8 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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