By RTT News, March 08, 2013, 05:48:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The UK market is modestly higher on Friday, ahead of the non-farm payrolls report from the U.S., after Chinese export growth in February exceeded economists' forecasts. Asian stocks rose, led by Japan and Hong Kong.
Chinese export growth exceeded economists' forecasts, while imports disappointed by undershooting expectations, the latest figures released by the General Administration of Customs showed.
Exports rose 21.8 percent year-on-year in February, much faster than the expected 8.1 percent increase. On the other hand, imports declined more than expected during the month, falling 15.2 percent year-on-year.
At 6.00 am ET, the Federal Ministry of Economics and technology is slated to issue Germany's industrial production data. Output is expected to rise 0.4 percent month-on-month in January, after increasing 0.3 percent in December.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.71 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is rising 0.44 percent.
The UK market is gaining 0.3 percent.
Evraz is adding 4.2 percent. Lenders HSBC Holdings and Lloyds Banking are rising 2.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
UBS raised Schroders to ''Neutral'' from ''Sell.'' The stock is up 1.1 percent.
Credit Suisse cut the mining sector to ''Underweight.'' Rio Tinto, Kazakhmys and Fresnillo are notably lower.
Centrica is losing 1.5 percent. JPMorgan cut the stock to ''Neutral'' from ''Overweight.''
Halma is up 3 percent in London after Barclays upgraded the stock
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX, the French CAC 40 and Switzerland's SMI are moderately higher.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended mostly higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.4 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 2.6 percent. Australia's All Ordinaries ended modestly higher by adding 0.3 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index, however, slid 0.2 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages posted modest gains. The Dow edged up 0.2 percent, the Nasdaq rose 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 crept up 0.2 percent.
The jobless data that will be released later in the global day is expected to show an increase of about 171,000 jobs in February compared to the addition of 157,000 jobs in January. The unemployment rate is expected to edge down to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for April delivery is sliding $0.01 at $91.55 per barrel and April gold is advancing $4.5 at $1579.6 a troy ounce.
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