London: World shares eked out gains for only the second time in nine sessions on Friday but the rise was likely to be contingent on key US jobs data due later.
The dollar was slightly lower against a basket of major currencies and euro zone sovereign debt firmed a bit.
The US non-farm payrolls report, due at 6:00pm is always a market mover, but this month’s will be particularly scrutinised as it comes amid signs of a slowdown in US and global economic recovery.
Economists polled by Reuters are expecting a fall in June non-farm payrolls of 110,000 -- the first drop this year. But it will be primarily because of the disappearance of temporary federal census-taking jobs.
Private-sector hiring is forecast to rise to 112,000 , up from 41,000 in May.
Riskier assets such as equities have been hit over recent weeks by weak data suggesting that the global economy is pulling back. Some bearish analysts even expect a double-dip recession.
“The US economy doesn’t look so good. Wall Street is choppy and it’s hard to predict trends, but it’s starting to look a bit like a bear market,” said Koichi Ogawa, chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments in Japan.
MSCI’s all-country world stock index was up 0.2%, about 8% lower than it was when a short rally began petering out on June 21.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2% with miners higher after Australia dumped its proposed “super profits” tax on the sector for a lower resource rent tax.
Shares in Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata rose 1.3 to 2.9%.
Earlier, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.1%. It has shed 5.5% on the week.
The dollar steadied after steep losses on Thursday brought on by economic concerns, fanned by data showing weekly claims for US jobless benefits rose unexpectedly while growth in the manufacturing sector slowed in June.
The dollar index, a gauge of its performance against six other major currencies, hovered above a two-month low after it shed 1.6% on Thursday.
The index was slightly lower on the day at 84.59.
The euro was holding steady around $1.2518 after surging more than 2% on Thursday to $1.2541 in its biggest one-day advance since mid-March last year.
Euro zone government bond yields were flat to lower ahead of the jobs data.
“The market feels a bit long, there may be some consolidation into payrolls but the risk is we’ll see a bigger move if the number is well above consensus rather than if it is well below,” a trader said.