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European Shares Seen Up Ahead Of US Jobs Data

European stocks are likely to open higher on Friday after few Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the first week of January, suggesting job creation remains solid.

The U.S. Labor Department's monthly jobs report is likely to be in focus today, which could give investors additional clues on the health of the world's largest economy and the interest rate outlook.

Economists expect employment to increase by 164,000 jobs in December after an increase of 266,000 jobs in November. The jobless rate is expected to hold at 3.5 percent.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said at an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Thursday that the U.S. economy is in a good place and the central bank isn't about to switch course.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives approved a resolution that would force President Trump to seek consent from Congress before taking new military action against Iran.

Industrial production and business confidence survey results from France are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Asian markets remain mostly higher after U.S. indexes set record highs overnight on diminishing worries about a U.S.-Iran war and optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal.

The dollar remains on course to post its best weekly gain in two months while gold extended losses after falling as much as 1 percent in the previous session. Oil prices fell further to hover near their lowest level since mid-December.

Overnight, U.S. stocks hit fresh record highs as concerns about war in the Middle East eased and investors positioned for the U.S.-China partial trade deal, expected to be signed on January 15.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 climbed around 0.7 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.8 percent.

Closer home, the pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.3 percent on Thursday. The German DAX rallied 1.3 percent, France's CAC 40 index inched up 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE rose 0.3 percent.

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