February 7, 2014 / 3:24 AM / 5 years ago

Stocks climb on hopes for U.S. jobs growth

PARIS (Reuters) - Stocks, oil and some base metals climbed on Friday on hopes that a U.S. jobs report due out shortly will ease concerns over the pace of global economic growth, and emerging market assets got a lift following their recent sell-off.

People walk past an electronic information board at the London Stock Exchange in the City of London October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The euro slipped against the dollar and Bund futures rallied after Germany’s Constitutional Court referred a complaint over the European Central Bank’s flagship bond-buying program to the European Court.

The MSCI All-Country World index .MIWD00000PUS was up 0.3 percent, recovering further from a 6 percent slide that had started in late January, the equity market’s steepest pull-back in seven months.

U.S. stock index futures were up 0.2-0.5 percent ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street.

Stock markets worldwide have been rallying since data on Thursday showing a drop in applications for U.S. unemployment insurance. While the data has no direct bearing on January’s employment report as it falls outside the survey period, it boosted the mood and eclipsed recent tepid U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data and a rout in emerging currencies.

A Reuters’ poll of economists shows non-farm payrolls are expected to have grown by 185,000 last month, snapping back from December’s three-year low.

“Following the surprisingly weak figure for December, investors’ expectations are quite low this time, so good jobs numbers today could fuel the rebound started this week,” Saxo Banque sales trader Andrea Tueni said.

The data, due at 1330 GMT, may also impact expectations about the pace at which the U.S. Federal Reserve will scale back its stimulus, which last year fuelled a sharp rally in risky assets such as equities.

London copper was up 0.3 percent on Friday, set to post its largest weekly rise this year, boosted by the hopes for strong U.S. jobs data. Brent crude steadied above $107 a barrel, heading for its second weekly gain in three.

“The market is turning its attention to macro headlines and the U.S. jobs report,” VTB Capital oil strategist Andrey Kryuchenkov said. “But we expect (Brent) to remain rangebound. Even a better-than-expected reading will only offer limited support as there is little on the fundamental side to keep this market rallying.”

Emerging market equities regained ground, with the MSCI Emerging Market index .MSCIEF up 0.6 percent, while battered currencies such as the Turkish lira and the South African rand were trading off recent lows.

The relative calm may not last, however, as data shows investors continued to repatriate funds from emerging markets this week, and outflows so far this year have now exceeded those for all of 2013.

The euro was down 0.2 percent to $1.3566 and Bund futures rose as high as 144.02, up 69 ticks on the day, after German judges referred a complaint about the ECB’s OMT bond-buying program to the European Court.

Although the German court said it saw substantial reasons to suggest the OMT exceeds the ECB’s mandate, the European Court has a reputation for giving federalist rulings that take a broad view on European institutions’ powers.

The announcement at the height of the bloc’s sovereign debt crisis in September 2012 of the as-yet unused program, which promises potentially unlimited sovereign bond purchases by the ECB, is widely credited with stabilizing the euro.

“The euro fell, but only slightly. That’s obviously justified if you think the European Court of Justice is going to be more ECB-friendly,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of currency research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/rav46v

Additional reporting by Christopher Johnson in London; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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