LONDON, March 7 European shares steadied in
early trading on Friday, with many investors waiting for U.S.
jobs data to provide fresh clues to health of the economy and
help set the market's near-term direction.
Non-farm payrolls are forecast to have risen by 149,000 in
February, up from the weather-depressed gains of 113,000 in
January. Analysts said expectations may have been lowered by the
soft ADP private-sector jobs report and ISM services sector
survey released earlier this week.
IG expected the jobs number to rise to 185,000, higher than
the market consensus, while KBC saw the figure at 200,000.
"A disappointing number will be neglected by investors as
February was still adversely impacted by winter weather," Ruland
Research analyst Heino Ruland, said.
"In the near term, I am quite bullish for equities. It
becomes clearer by the day that growth resumed in the euro area,
even though below potential growth, which means that interest
rates will begin rising but stay comparatively low thereby
increasing the relative attractiveness of equity valuations."
Medical technology group Getinge slumped 15
percent after it said first quarter earnings would be hit by an
adverse mix of higher costs for consultants, lower invoicing,
production problems and currency headwinds.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares
was down 0.05 percent at 1,343.62 points by 0804 GMT.