Global shares mostly higher ahead of US employment report

Shares were mostly higher in Europe early Friday after a mixed day in Asia ahead of the release of U.S. jobs data later in the day, with scant apparent carry-over from overnight gains on Wall Street as Apple surpassed $1 trillion in value.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany‘s DAX added 0.2 percent to 12,572.57 and the CAC 40 in France edged up less than 0.1 percent to 5,463.79. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent to 7,607.62. The Dow future contract lost 0.1 percent to 25,272.00 and the S&P 500 future was also 0.1 percent lower, at 2,826.20, auguring a slow start on Wall Street.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 added less than 0.1 percent to 22,525.18 and the Shanghai Composite index lost 1.0 percent to 2,740.44. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gave up 0.2 percent to 27,650.83 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent lower to 6,234.80. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.8 percent to 2,287.68. Shares rose in Taiwan and Thailand but fell in Singapore and Indonesia.

US JOBS: Optimistic employers likely stepped up hiring in July thanks to strong growth and consumer spending. Economists forecast that a report to be released later Friday will show employers added 191,000 jobs last month, down from 213,000 in June but easily enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. The jobless rate is projected to decline to 3.9 percent, near an 18-year low, from 4 percent.

TRADE: Escalating the trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economic powers, the Trump administration said it may impose a 25 percent tax on $200 billion in imports from China, to take effect after a hearing and public comment. That is up from a 10 percent tax it proposed in June. Reports of that shift brought a harsh rebuke from Chinese officials, who said such tactics were outdated and would not work.

ANALYST’S PERSPECTIVE: “Despite seeing the earnings season delivering a 79 percent beat of the consensus for the 79 percent of companies that have reported on the S&P 500 index, trade tensions remain the true driver for prices,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. “For the day ahead, however, it will be the set of economic data to capture the market’s attention. July’s jobs data will be received with strong expectations brewing ahead of the release.”

TOYOTA’S RECORD: Toyota Motor Corp. reported Friday that its quarterly profit climbed 7.2 percent in April-June to a record 657.3 billion yen ($5.9 billion), exceeding analysts’ forecasts thanks to strong sales in the U.S. and other overseas markets. But the company kept its full year profit forecast unchanged and downgraded its sales forecast, citing uncertainties over market trends and trade policies.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 6 cents to $68.90 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.9 percent to $68.96 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 11 cents to $74.34 per barrel. It gained 1.5 percent to $73.45 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.73 yen from 111.65 yen. The euro fell to $1.1587 from $1.1587.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

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