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June 24, 2017

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World stocks buoyed by hope of good US jobs data

Global stock markets were higher Friday in anticipation of a positive U.S. jobs report for January.

In Europe, Germany's DAX stock rose 0.1 percent at 9,367.89 while the CAC 40 in France was also up 0.1 percent at 4,192.12. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 percent at 6,565.42.

At the end of a week that started with turmoil in global markets, traders were a lot calmer hours before the U.S. Labor Department reports its non-farm payrolls data for January.

"The upcoming jobs data is viewed as critical for markets, which are pricing in further growth. So any hints that they might be good are positive for sentiment," said Mutsumi Kagawa, senior strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.

The Labor Department earlier this week said fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week while a private survey reported positive data on U.S. hiring. Hopes of a good January report bolstered the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 index, which each closed up 1.2 percent on Thursday, their largest single-day increase since Dec. 18.

Evidence of healthy U.S. job growth would suggest that the world's biggest economy is still expanding solidly enough to support global growth and help allay growing fears of a slowdown.

DBS Vickers in Hong Kong said market consensus was for an 180,000 gain in January but warned it doesn't really show an improvement. At this number, it would leave the 3-month average payrolls at 165,000, which is 17,000 less than six months ago.

"Everyone, including DBS, expects January payrolls will be back to normal. That doesn't mean good. And it doesn't mean that things are getting better," it said in a commentary.

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