European equities mostly flat at open

LONDON (AFP) – Europe’s stock markets mostly flattened in opening deals on Friday, as investors turned cautious before US non-farm payrolls data.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was flat at 7,167.65 points, compared with Thursday’s closing level.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 held steady at 15,844.17 points, while the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.3 percent to 6,744.12.

Most Asian markets however rose in Asia following another record close on Wall Street.

Friday’s payrolls data could have a huge bearing on the Federal Reserve’s plans for tapering its ultra-loose monetary policy.

“The major risk to the equity rally is the Fed tapering,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at online bank SwissQuote.

“And today’s US jobs data could shake the Fed expectations to the hawkish or to the dovish side depending on the strength of the data, of course.”

Private American companies hired just 374,000 more workers in August, payroll services firm ADP said earlier this week.

That was just over half what economists had expected and a sign that the Delta Covid variant is undermining the job market’s recovery.

“Wednesday’s ADP report was a big miss,” added Ozkardeskaya.

“But as there is no significant correlation between the ADP and the NFP reads on monthly basis, we cannot rule out the possibility of seeing a strong NFP print today.”