European shares little changed before U.S. jobs data, BNP rises

MILAN, Rabi’II 26, 1437, Feb 5, 2016, SPA — European shares were little changed in choppy trade on Friday with investors reluctant to take up big positions before a key U.S. jobs report that could provide clues on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy outlook, Reuters reported.

U.S. employment gains likely slowed in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but an expected rebound in wages and a steady jobless rate will suggest the labor market recovery remains firm.

Nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 190,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

By 0911 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.03 percent at 1,294 points, after a fall of 0.15 percent in the previous session.

BNP Paribas was among the top gainers, up 4.8 percent, after France’s biggest bank presented plans to cut investment banking costs in a bid to bolster profitability and said it would quit some activities to fuel growth.

Nokian Tyres rose 7.8 percent after better-than-expected earnings, while French builder Vinci rose 2 percent after predicting higher profits and a slight fall in revenues this year.

ArcelorMittal fell 5.4 percent after the world’s largest steelmaker unveiled plans to raise $3 billion in fresh capital in a bid to reduce debt in the face of weak steel and mining sectors.

12:43 LOCAL TIME 09:43 GMT