European Markets Outside Spain and Italy Rise Ahead of US Jobs Data

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By m rochan | December 6, 2013 8:54 PM EST

European markets open higher on 6 December (Reuters).

European markets opened higher on 6 December, and markets outside Italy and Spain traded higher thereafter, ahead of the release of key labour market data in the US.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.2% higher to 315.11.

Britain's FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 opened 0.2% higher.

Germany's DAX 30 opened 0.5% higher.

Spain's IBEX 35 was trading 0.38% lower after opening higher.

Italy's FTSE MIB was trading 0.18% lower after opening higher.

Market participants will be tracking nonfarm payrolls numbers and the unemployment rate coming in from the US later in the day.

US nonfarm payrolls figures are expected to show an increase of 180,000 jobs for November, down from 204,000 in October.

Government data is also expected to show that the US unemployment rate dipped to 7.2% in November from 7.3% in the preceding month.

Investors fear that upbeat economic data could force the US Federal Reserve to trim its $85bn-a-month bond buying stimulus sooner than later. The world's most powerful central bank will announce its monetary policy decision on 18 December.

In company news, The Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed that Barclays is the only bank to not split redress payments to victims of mis-sold interest rate swap agreements, despite eight other firms opting into the process. Barclays' stock was trading 0.32% higher at 09:31 GMT in London.

British homebuilder Berkeley Group's stock was trading 8.68% higher at 09:15GMT in London after the firm reported a 19.2% increase in profit before tax in the six months to 31 October, beating expectations.

On 4 December, both the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) left their benchmark interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and 0.25% respectively.

In a statement following the interest rate decision, ECB president Mario Draghi said: "The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area are assessed to be on the downside".

"The economic analysis indicates that we may experience a prolonged period of low inflation, to be followed by a gradual upward movement towards inflation rates below, but close to, 2% later on", Draghi added.

In Asia

The Shanghai Composite finished 0.44% lower on 6 December, Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.23% lower, while South Korea's Kospi finished 0.22% lower

The Japanese Nikkei finished 0.81% higher while Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 0.13% higher.

Mumbai's BSE Sensex was trading 0.22% higher.

Asian markets witnessed mixed trade as the focus turned to US data for hints as to the future pace of the Fed's asset buys.

In Tokyo, news that the Japanese government had approved a $182bn economic package pushed up investor sentiment.

Aimed at pulling the world's third-largest economy out of persistent deflation and weak growth, the measures are likely to add 1 percentage point to Japan's gross domestic product, creating some 250,000 jobs in the process, the cabinet office said on 5 December.

In company news, Goldman Sachs' South Korean unit could face regulatory action for potential violation of domestic capital markets regulations, a Korean regulator informed the US investment banking major.

Wall Street Mixed

On Wall Street, indices ended lower on 5 December after upbeat US growth data sparked fears that the Fed could trim its asset buys sooner than expected.

The US economy expanded faster than initially estimated in the July-September quarter, government data showed.

The world's leading economy expanded by 3.6% in the third-quarter, instead of the 2.8% pace predicted earlier. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 3.0% growth rate.

The Dow finished 68.2 points lower or 0.4% at 15,821.5.

The S&P 500 ended 7.78 points lower, or 0.4% at 1,785.03.

The Nasdaq closed 4.84 points, or 0.1% at 4,033.16.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), broadly considered to be the best measure of investor uncertainty, rose 2.5% to just over 15.

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