January 10, 2020: Europe's stock markets flatlined on Friday, after a largely positive session in Asia, as investors cautiously awaited critical data in the United States.
In late morning deals, both London and Paris stocks turned flat, while Frankfurt was 0.2 percent ahead.
“Today's nonfarm payrolls (NFP) are the main economic event,” noted analyst Neil Wilson at trading site Markets.com.
“Last month, a blowout jobs number sent equities higher along with the US dollar and Treasury yields, as it suggested the US economy was doing better than many corners of the market feared.” The latest US figures should therefore provide for a better idea for investors about the overall health of the world's top economy.
Looking ahead to next week, China and the US put pen to paper on their mini trade deal.
Most Asian stock markets rose Friday but investors struggled to maintain a rally triggered by easing US-Iran tensions the previous day, as focus also turned back to the global economic outlook.
The toning down of rhetoric from US President Donald Trump and Tehran following an Iranian missile attack on US assets in Iraq soothed concerns about a possible conflict in the Middle East and lit a fire under global equities on Thursday.
That allowed dealers to resume a buying spree that had characterised business for the past few weeks, cheered by China and the United States reaching a trade deal, central banks easing monetary policy and data pointing to an improved global outlook.
Wall Street had racked up fresh record highs on Thursday and Asia broadly followed suit, though the gains were light.
Oil prices drooped Friday, with the sharp gains enjoyed in the wake of the US assassination of Iran's top general being wiped out by easing tensions. The commodity is now below levels seen before the killing.
There appeared to be little negative market reaction to claims by Canada that Iran shot down an airliner in Tehran this week, killing 176 people.