European stock markets rose for the first time in five sessions on Thursday, with optimism over a rally in oil prices outweighing concerns over a slowdown in growth in China's services sector. Trading volumes were lower than usual because of Ascension Day, which kept several markets closed, including Switzerland, Austria and the Scandinavian bourses.
The Dow industrials and S&P 500 finished little changed on Thursday, and the Nasdaq Composite booked its 10th loss in 11 sessions ahead of a key report on employment due Friday. Weak economic data, disappointing earnings and skittishness ahead of the closely watched employment report combined to weigh on investor sentiment.
Shares in Asia edged lower on Friday, amid caution before a key U.S. jobs report and shaky oil prices. Trading was largely muted as investors waited for U.S. jobs data due late Friday in Asia. The report offers a glimpse of the health of the U.S. economy and is a key factor in swaying expectations for future interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve. Economists estimate roughly 205,000 jobs were added in April.
Based on MarketWatch materials