Global markets subdued ahead of jobs report

Traders work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on Nov. 6, 2015.

REUTERS

TOKYO - Global stock markets were subdued Friday ahead of a U.S. jobs report that's likely to influence whether the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in December.

France's CAC 40 dropped 0.8 percent to 4,940.94 in midday trading and Germany's DAX was down 0.3 percent to 10,858.33. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent at 6,357.82.

U.S. markets looked set for a muted open: Both S&P 500 and Dow futures were flat.

Analysts are forecasting that U.S. employers added 185,000 jobs and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent in October. A solid report would suggest the world's biggest economy is shrugging off slower growth overseas and will likely give the Fed confidence to raise short-term interest rates in December. Interest rates have been at record lows since the 2008 financial crisis. Testifying before a committee of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen described the U.S. economy as "performing well" and said an interest rate hike in December was a "live possibility."

"U.S. jobs report is the key event risk today. Non-farm payroll, along with unemployment rate and wages, will get special attention," said Cynthia Jane Kalasopatan at Mizuho Bank in Singapore in a report.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.8 percent to 19,265.60 while South Korea's Kospi inched fell 0.4 percent to 2,041.07. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.8 percent at 22,867.33. But the Shanghai Composite in mainland China jumped 1.9 percent to 3,590.03. Other regional markets were mixed, rising in Australia and Thailand and falling in Taiwan and Singapore.

In energy markets, U.S. crude oil added 26 cents to $45.46 a barrel in electronic trading in New York. Brent crude, which is a benchmark for international oils, rose 8 cents to $48.06 a barrel in London.

The U.S. dollar was trading at 121.93 yen, up from 121.49 yen on Thursday. The euro slipped to $1.0883 from $1.0885.