European shares steady in early trading, focus on U.S. jobs

LONDON, March 6 Fri Mar 6, 2015 3:07am EST

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - European equities steadied in early trading on Friday after recent sharp gains, with investors seen reluctant to place strong bets before a U.S. jobs report that could provide hints about the timing of a U.S. rate hike.

A Reuters survey of economists forecast a 240,000 increase in non-farm payrolls after a 257,000 gain in January. That would mark the 12th straight month of job increases above 200,000, the longest such run since 1994.

At 0804 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares flat at 1,569.33 points after gaining in the previous session. However, the index headed for a fifth straight week of gains.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Alistair Smout)