(Bloomberg) — European stocks remained rangebound near all-time highs Friday, ahead of U.S. jobs report that investors will analyze for clues on the direction of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index eased 0.2% as of 8:14 a.m. in London, with consumer-products and tech stocks showing the biggest declines. Miners and autos advanced the most.
The benchmark has been stuck in a tight range for the past two weeks, with equities in the region close to record levels. The Stoxx 600 is up 19% this year, driven by optimism over an economic recovery, as market participants await central banks steps toward tapering.
According to a Bloomberg survey of economists, the U.S. probably added 725,000 jobs in August — a more moderate pace versus the prior two months, but stronger than gains in early 2021.
“The main focus of the jobs number will be on what they mean for the Fed and its tapering plans,” said Diego Fernandez, chief investment officer at A&G Banca Privada in Madrid. In Europe, Fernandez sees equities slightly overbought and expects a small correction.
A shakeup of Germany’s prime equity index will be announced on Friday by compiler Qontigo, with the number of stocks in the DAX Index being increased to 40 from 30.
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