LONDON: World shares were heading for their strongest week since October as markets awaited U.S. jobs data on Friday, while oil was shooting for a near 20 percent rebound and the euro was on track for its biggest weekly rise since late 2013.
European stocks dipped at the open and the region’s bonds made ground as investors, who have faced fluctuating sentiment over Greece’s problems this week, began to square up positions ahead of the monthly U.S. jobs data.
Economists polled by Reuters expected U.S. employers to have taken on 234,000 workers in January, below December’s increase of 252,000, but more than enough to keep the three month average the Federal Reserve likes to look at above the 200,000 mark.
“Traders will be hoping for a Goldilocks number just above 200k, showing that the U.S. economy is ticking over nicely, but not roaring ahead, as to invoke the Fed to start tightening (raising interest rates),” Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads, said in a note.
Traders in most asset classes were keeping moves tight, as is standard ahead of payrolls data not wanting to be caught off guard if the figures come in way outside the range of expectations.
Many were also just happy to catch their breath after a roller coaster start to the year, which has seen the European Central Bank fire over a trillion euros at the euro zone and central banks around the world make some jarring policy changes.
The euro eased versus the dollar to $1.1450 in early European trading. However, though Greece’s debt negotiations with the euro zone have made for a turbulent time, the single currency was clinging to a 1.45 percent weekly gain, its best since September 2013.