* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct
* ArcelorMittal top gainer after raises profit forecast
* Optimism surrounds U.S. non-farm payrolls
* Skanska drags after orders lag
* Market dips briefly on German court referral of ECB bond
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Feb 7 Heavyweight steelmaker
ArcelorMittal helped European shares edge to a second
day of gains on Friday, supported by hopes that jobs data later
in the day will reveal a brightening picture for the U.S.
World no.1 ArcelorMittal - regarded as a gauge for the
health of global manufacturing - was the pan European
FTSEurofirst 300's top gainer with a rise of 4 percent
after forecasting higher profits in the year ahead.
The gains helped to lift German blue-chip steelmaker
ThyssenKrupp up 2.5 percent.
But peer SSAB fell 1.7 percent after reporting
its sixth straight quarterly loss with slowing growth in China,
though it said the hard-hit European steel market had bottomed
The market briefly dipped after Germany's Constitutional
court referred the European Central Bank's bond-buying programme
to the European Court, saying it saw reasons to suggest the
scheme went beyond the ECB's mandate.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,291.22 at 0855
GMT, building on the previous session's 1.5 percent rally, which
was the biggest daily gain since mid December
Basic resources stocks rose 1.3 percent, the top
sectoral gainer in Europe.
"For Arcelor, the numbers were a bit a better for Q4, and
the outlook isn't horrific, so the stock's having a nice pop.
But equally, for SSAB, losses continue, and they're talking
about slower demand from Asia," Nick Xanders, who heads up
European equity strategy at BTIG, said.
"The move in ArcelorMittal looks a bit excessive, but people
are relieved that it could have been a lot worse."
EYES ON PAYROLLS
Investors were hopeful that U.S. jobs data would show signs
of improving economic growth, after Thursday's encouraging
initial jobless claims data fuelled strong gains on Wall Street.
While Thursday's data has no direct bearing on January's
employment report, as it falls outside the survey period, it
boosted the outlook for the world's largest economy.
"After what we saw yesterday we're going slightly long into
the data and if the figures are good we expect a nice short
squeeze," Markus Huber, senior trader at Peregrine & Black,
Non-farm payrolls are expected to have increased by 185,000
last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists. This
would offer assurance that economic growth was not faltering.
Chatter in the market was of an even higher number, however,
with Goldman Sachs predicting 200,000 and Societe Generale
looking for 270,000.
The top faller was Skanska, down 3 percent, after
the Nordic region's biggest builder said that the outlook for
its markets was slowly improving after it posted fourth-quarter
order intake below expectations.
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