U.K.'s FTSE 100 on track for record close
European stocks rose for a second straight session on Friday, boosted by optimism over record stock closing levels in the U.S., with hopes high for the closely watched U.S. jobs report.
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The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.7% to 394.46, on track for its highest close since May 16. For the week, the pan-European benchmark was set for a 0.8% advance, its biggest weekly jump since the week ending May 5, according to FactSet data.
The positive mood in Europe came after "having started on the front foot yesterday, helped by a continuation of the recent theme of an improving economic environment, as further improvements in economic data fueled a positive start to the month, which was carried on in the U.S.," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in a note.
All three major U.S. indexes (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-on-track-to-edge-higher-rebounding-from-two-day-dip-2017-06-01) ended at all-time highs on Thursday, after private sector jobs data in U.S. easily beat expectations. The data raised hopes the official nonfarm payrolls report, out at 1:30 p.m. London time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, will also paint an upbeat picture of the labor market.
Economists polled by MarketWatch expect 185,000 new jobs were added to the economy in May (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/another-shower-of-new-us-jobs-expected-for-may-2017-06-01). A solid number could further strengthen expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month, as well as send a positive signal about the health of the world's largest economy.
U.S. stock futures were trading higher in the early going Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-poised-to-bust-out-new-records-as-optimism-about-payrolls-data-builds-2017-06-02).
Individual indexes: Germany's DAX 30 index rallied 1.4% to 12,848.86, beating the previous record set in the middle of May and setting it on track for an all-time closing high.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index was also set for a record close, up 0.3% at 7,569.86. The gain came as the pound continued to slide on nerves ahead of next week's U.K. general election. Polls are increasingly pointing to a tight race between Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party.
Read:5 things to know about the U.K.'s general election next week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-to-know-about-the-uk-general-election-next-week-2017-06-01)
And see: U.K. election -- the nightmare, best and most-likely scenarios for stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-election-the-nightmare-best-case-and-most-likely-scenarios-for-stocks-worldwide-2017-06-01)
France's CAC 40 index gained 1% to 5,369.90, while Spain's IBEX 35 climbed 1.1% to 11,002.70.
Stock movers: Banks were among the biggest beneficiaries of the upbeat sentiment on Friday, with the hopes for higher interest rates in the U.S. providing a boon for the sector. The Stoxx Europe Banks Index gained 1.5%, on track for its biggest gain since April.
Shares of Credit Agricole SA (ACA.FR) moved up 2.8% in Paris, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK.XE) (DBK.XE) put on 2.6% in Frankfurt, and Barclays PLC (BCS)(BCS) added 1.4% in London.
Shares of Banco Popular Español SA (POP.MC) gained 0.8%, after an 18% slump on Thursday. That decline came on the back of a Reuters report that a top EU watchdog has warned the Spanish bank it will have to be wound down (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-banco-popular-m-a-eu-exclusive-idUSKBN18R25V) unless it finds a buyer.
Oil companies, however, curbed gains in Europe as crude oil and Brent both plunged more than 2%. The sharp fall came after U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord sparked concerns of higher U.S. oil production (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-stay-weak-as-investors-return-to-worries-over-rising-production-2017-06-02).
Shares of Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN) slid 2.4%, BP PLC (BP.LN) (BP.LN) fell 0.8% and Eni SpA (ENI.MI) gave up 1.2%.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 02, 2017 07:09 ET (11:09 GMT)