In Europe. Eurozone finance ministers have called an emergency meeting for Wednesday next week to discuss how to get Greece and the rest of Europe closer to a debt agreement. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece won’t accept any deal at the Eurogroup meeting that keeps the bailout program as it is now, Reuters reported Friday. Earlier in the week, Varoufakis stepped up his push for eurozone partners to accept a bridge loan so Greece could have more time to renegotiate, but Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Friday killed any hopes that eurozone governments will grant such short-term financing. Greece’s ASE Index fell 2.3 percent, trimming its best weekly increase since November.
The UK's trade deficit widened last year to £34.8bn, the biggest gap since 2010 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It said a fall in exports was largely to blame for the rising trade deficit. The value of exported goods fell by £14.6bn compared to the previous year. Imports of goods fell for the first time since 2009, down by £7.3bn. For December the deficit widened to £2.9bn from £1.8bn in November, which was more than economists expected.
European stocks advanced for a fifth day, reversing an earlier decline, as data showed employers in the U.S. added more jobs in January than forecast. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.3 percent to 373.66 at 3:11 p.m. in London, erasing a drop of as much as 0.4 percent. The gauge is heading for a weekly gain of 1.8 percent. The VStoxx Index, a gauge of volatility on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index, slipped 2.8 percent, for a fifth consecutive decline, its longest losing streak since October.
In U.S.A. U.S. job growth rose solidly in January and wages rebounded strongly, a show of underlying strength in the economy that puts a mid-year interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve back on the table. Nonfarm payrolls increased 257,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. Data for November and December was revised to show a whopping 147,000 more jobs created than previously reported, bolstering views consumers will have enough muscle to carry the economy through rough seas. While the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7 percent, that was because the labor force increased, a sign of confidence in the jobs market. U.S. stock index futures rose on the data. The dollar rose against a basket of currencies, while prices for U.S. Treasury debt fell. January marked the 11th straight month of job gains above 200,000, the longest streak since 1994.
The continued improvement in the labor market comes despite the economy slowing. Sputtering growth overseas and lower oil prices have weighed on exports and business investment. Wages increased 12 cents last month after falling five cents in December. That took the year-on-year gain to 2.2 percent, the largest since August.
In January, private payrolls increased 267,000. November and December private employment was revised higher. Private payroll gains in November were the largest since September 1997.
Manufacturing added 22,000 jobs in January. Construction payrolls increased 39,000 after rising 44,000 in December. Oil and gas extraction employment fell 1,900 last month, reflecting layoffs in the energy industry in response to lower oil prices.
U.S. stocks fluctuated between small gains and losses on Friday as a strong jobs report prompted investors to adjust their expectation about the Federal Reserve’s timing of the first rate hike. The main indexes were set to book solid weekly gains. The S&P 500 SPX, 0.28% inched higher to 2,069. Financials jumped, while six of 10 main sectors were trading lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, 0.21% switched between small gains and losses, with nearly half of its 30 members trading lower. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, 0.19% was largely unchanged.
In Asia. Asian markets traded mostly higher on Friday as rising oil prices helped boost investor's confidence. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 0.8% to 17,648.50.
While the world's second-largest economy slowed to a 7.4 percent expansion last year -- just squeaking into the communist government's "about 7.5 percent" target range -- regional data presents a fractured landscape more akin to Europe's than the rising-tide-floats-all-boats numbers we're used to from China. While policymakers in Beijing don't have to contend with Grexit-like threats, there are headaches ahead.
"Given the sluggish economic growth and fiscal pressure from dropping land sales, local governments have become much less ambitious than before,'' Deutsche Bank AG's chief China economist Zhang Zhiwei wrote in a Jan. 30 note. "The decline of fiscal revenue is the top risk in China and will lead to a sharp slowdown in GDP'' to 6.8 percent this quarter.
On the Commodities markets . Brent crude oil was on track for the biggest weekly rise since 2011 as fighting in Libya and stronger economic signals from the United States helped futures rebound from near six-year lows. Prices have rallied nearly 20 percent over the past six sessions, but they remain roughly 50 percent below their peak from the middle of last year. No sustained recovery is expected in the near term amid rising global inventories and steady OPEC supply. But further falls in the U.S. oil-rig count, concerns over dented output from Libya, a key Mediterranean oil producer, and stronger U.S. job figures boosted prices.
Benchmark Brent crude traded $1.40 higher at $57.97 per barrel by 1454 GMT (09:54 a.m. EST). The weekly increase was poised to be the highest since 2011. U.S. crude for March delivery traded at $51.58 per barrel, up by $1.10, after trading more than $2 higher. The contract was on track to close with the highest weekly gain since at least 2013.
Gold prices fell Friday after an encouraging jobs report from the Labor Department helped give stocks a lift, taking some of the shine from the yellow metal. Gold for April delivery GCJ5, -1.99% shed $19.70, or 1.6%, to $1,243.10 an ounce after barely moving at all on Thursday. March silver SIH5, -2.30% lost 27 cents, or 1.5%, to $16.92 an ounce.
NZD was the strongest currency against USD, appreciated by 1.81% on Friday (weekly basis), while NZDUSD traded around 0.7370 area. JPY was the weakest currency against greenbacks, depreciated by -1.26% and USDJPY touched weekly high at 119.142.