By Shreyashi Sanyal
-European shares rose on Friday on a boost from semiconductor makers, while investors awaited a closely watched monthly jobs report from the United States later in the day.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5%, with technology stocks rising 1.0%. The STOXX 600 is set to end the week flat.
Semiconductor maker ASML Holding NV rose 1.5% after Micron Technology Inc said it plans to start using ASMLEUV machines in production in 2024, while ASM International NV rose nearly 2.0% as it forecast higher order intake in the second quarter.
Market participants are now keenly awaiting data which will likely show U.S. job growth picked up in June as companies, desperate to boost production and services amid booming demand, raised wages and offered incentives to lure millions of unemployed Americans back into the labour force.
“The next catalyst for investors to look forward to will be the U.S. jobs report today, which could shed some light on the state of the recovery as well as the Federal Reserve’s likely plans for monetary policy,” said Jim Reid, head of thematic research at Deutsche Bank.
Most major European sector indexes were trading higher by 0800 GMT, with travel & leisure leading the advance and recouping some losses from earlier in the week.
The index still led weekly declines across sectors as it was hit by concerns of travel bans amid the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.
The STOXX 600 is now just a hair’s breadth away from a record high hit in June, as data points through the week reflected a vaccine-led economic recovery.
Among other stocks, France’s SMCP reversed early declines to rise 0.4%, after the company along with Zara owner Inditex were the subject of an investigation as they are suspected of concealing “crimes against humanity” in China’s Xinjiang region, according to a judicial source.
Volkswagen AG rose 0.5% after its U.S. arm said it sold more than 211,000 cars in the first half of 2021, its highest level for the period in nearly 50 years.
Shares in Denmark’s Ambu tumbled 14% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after the single-use medical devices maker cut its profit outlook.
Also on the radar is producer prices data for the euro zone during the month of May, scheduled to be released at 0900 GMT.