* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent
* Week-long drop in crude hits oil stocks
* Risk seen on the downside ahead of U.S. payrolls
* Mutual funds remain buyers of equities -Nomura
* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, May 6 European stocks were slightly up
around midday on Friday, halting a sharp three-session pullback,
led by a rebound in shares of exporters, thanks to the euro's
recent drop against the dollar.
A sharp drop in crude prices, however, dragged down shares
of oil producers such as BP (BP.L), down 0.8 percent, and Royal
Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), down 1.5 percent.
At 1130 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top
European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,132.33 points, after
losing 2.6 percent in the previous three sessions.
The index's rise on Friday was capped by strong resistance
at around 1,133 points, which represents the index's 50-day
moving average, while investors braced for key U.S. monthly jobs
"Investors' appetite for equities isn't there. People have
started to look beyond earnings, and the U.S. macro backdrop
isn't quite rosy," said Harry Sebag, head of sales trading at
Saxo Banque in Paris.
"Both the ADP and weekly jobless figures we've seen this
week bode ill for today's payrolls, and a disappointing figure
could confirm the current pull-back in stocks."
Commodities performance overview:
Commodity correlations with the dollar:
Is the global economy slowing?
U.S. April non-farm payrolls, due at 1230 GMT, were forecast
to rise 186,000, but a number of market players fear a weaker
number, given recent worse-than-forecast weekly jobless claims
and private payrolls data. [ID:nN05211728]
"We've moved to the sideline on European stocks in both cash
and options. The earnings season didn't give us a clear
direction, and there's a lack of visibility on the U.S. macro
picture at the moment," said David Thebault, head of
quantitative sales trading, at Paris-based Global Equities.
"The only thing I might play before the summer is buying
The Euro STOXX 50 volatility index .V2TX, Europe's main
investor fear gauge, was down 3.7 percent, at 21.74 points,
following a week-long rally.
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index .FTSE was down 0.3
percent, Germany's DAX index .GDAXI up 0.5 percent, and
France's CAC 40 .FCHI up 0.3 percent.
Exporters such as EADS EAD.PA, Siemens (SIEGn.DE) and
Zodiac Aerospace (ZODC.PA) were up 0.6-2.6 percent, helped in
part by Thursday's sharp retreat in the euro following a brisk
Despite this week's fall in appetite for risky assets,
mutual fund investors remained net buyers of global equities in
the week of April 28 to May 4, Nomura said in a note.
It said global fund investors pumped in $8.5 billion for the
week, compared with $8.1 billion in the previous week.
(Additional reporting by Dominic Lau in London; Editing by Will