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    Markets await US nonfarm payroll report

    US stocks were mixed on Thursday as concerns over global economic growth weighed on market sentiment. The dollar weakened with the ICE US Dollar index closing down 0.2%. S&P 500 was up 0.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 12 points finishing at 16,272.01. Investors are cautious ahead of September jobs report due today. Also the Institute for Supply Management report showed its manufacturing index fell to 50.2% last month from 51.1% in August, indicating the growth in manufacturing sector slowed as exports of goods made in US declined due to a stronger dollar and weaker global economy. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 277,000 last week, remaining low in a sign of steady improvement of the labor market. Today September nonfarm payrolls will be published, and analysts expect US employers to have added 201,000 nonfarm workers last month, against a gain of 173,000 in August. Hourly average earnings are expected to grow 2.4% in September compared to 2.2% growth in August, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5.1%, the lowest since 2008. Unless data surprises come on negative side, improved labor market performance will bolster dollar as labor market tightening will increase the likelihood of interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year. On Thursday Federal Open Market Committee voting member Jeffrey Lacker said that a rate increase in October is possible. Today at 13:30 CET nonfarm payroll and unemployment rate for September will be released in US. The tentative outlook is positive. At 15:00 CET factory orders will be published. The tentative outlook is negative. At 18:00 CET Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer will speak on monetary policy in Boston.

    European stocks fell on Thursday as concern over slowing global growth overshadowed the initial optimism following better than expected factory data from China. Euro edged higher against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed down 1.5% having opened with a positive gap after China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index edged up to 49.8 in September from 49.7 in August, indicating slowing of contraction pace in manufacturing sector of world’s second biggest economy. Economic reports on Thursday showed manufacturing activity in euro-zone slowed in September with Manufacturing PMI falling to 52 last month from 52.3 in August. The manufacturing PMI In Germany fell to 52.3 from 53.3 in August, while activity in France expanded with PMI rising to 50.6 from 48.3. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday the euro-zone has become more resilient and growth is picking up due to monetary stimulus program of the central bank. Today at 10:00 CET euro-zone producer price index for August will be released. The tentative outlook is negative.

    Nikkei ended flat today as it edged up 0.02% in a thin trade. Investors refrained from making big bets ahead of nonfarm payroll release in US.

    Oil futures prices are rising today on heightened geopolitical risks as Russia and the United States are carrying on bombing campaigns and hundreds of Iranian troops arrived in Syria to support government troops. Supply and demand fundamentals remain weak, and Saudi Arabia is expected to cut the prices of crude it sells to Asia in November to retain its market share in the region amid a global oversupply.

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