LONDON (Reuters) - European shares opened lower and industrial commodities like oil and copper were weak on Friday on concerns about the health of the world’s biggest economy before a reading on the strength of the U.S. jobs market.
Weekend elections in France and Greece, which could complicate efforts to resolve the euro zone debt crisis, were also weighing on sentiment, leaving the euro steady against the dollar at around $1.3150 and debt markets little changed.
The pan-European FTSE Eurofirst .FTEU3 index of top European shares fell 0.2 percent to 1042.47, a day after the European Central Bank ended hopes of any further monetary policy easing in the near term to help the region’s economy.
“Securing a longer-term recovery in the global economy needs more that repeated quick fixes from monetary policy. That point was reinforced by the ECB yesterday,” said Ian Williams, equity analyst at Peel Hunt.
“Investors now face the modest hurdle of the U.S. payrolls numbers before the long weekend allows some time for contemplation,” he said.
Market expectations for the U.S. jobs report have fallen this week with many now suspecting the economy only added 125,000 to 150,000 jobs in April, below a Reuters consensus forecast of 170,000. A weak read out will stir talk of further monetary easing by the Federal Reserve.
Richard Hubbard; editing by Elizabeth Piper