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European stocks rose, following their biggest gain in seven weeks, as investors awaited a report that may show U.S. employers hired workers at a faster pace last month. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also climbed.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.3 percent to 323.61 at 11:06 a.m. in London, taking its advance this week to 0.3 percent. The equity benchmark rallied 1.5 percent yesterday as the European Central Bank left interest rates at a record low.
“All eyes are on U.S. non-farm payrolls today, which could soften some of the recent growth worries and support stocks,” Thomas Lehr, an investment strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG in Zurich, said in a telephone interview. “It will be interesting to see the market’s reaction to very strong numbers, as it supports further tapering by the Fed, meaning the question remains what it will do to emerging markets.”
The Stoxx 600 has still fallen 3.7 percent from its high on Jan. 22 amid a sell-off in emerging-market currencies and signs of slowing economic growth in China.
In the U.S., a Labor Department report may show that employers in the world’s biggest economy added more than twice as many workers in January as in December. Payrolls probably rose by 185,000 workers, following a 74,000 gain in December, according to the median forecast of economists. The unemployment rate probably remained at 6.7 percent, its lowest in more than five years.
ArcelorMittal advanced 4.2 percent to 12.92 euros. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $1.91 billion in the fourth quarter, from $1.56 billion a year earlier. That beat the average analyst estimate of $1.81 billion. The company also said earnings will continue to climb in 2014, forecasting full-year Ebitda of about $8 billion.
Aperam (APAM), the stainless-steel producer spun off by ArcelorMittal in 2011, jumped 9.1 percent to 14.83 euros. Ebitda in the fourth quarter amounted to $84 million, beating the $65.5 million that analysts had predicted.
EMS-Chemie rose 3.3 percent to 331.75 Swiss francs as the chemical producer posted Ebitda of 424 million francs ($470 million) for 2013, beating the 413.5 million-franc average analyst projection. The company also said it will pay a dividend of 8.50 francs a share for 2013, exceeding the forecast of 8 francs. It also announced an extraordinary dividend of 2.50 francs.
FTSE 100 6,562.55 +4.27 +0.07%
CAC 40 4,193.82 +5.72 +0.14%
DAX 9,275.89 +19.31 +0.21%
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