European Shares Inch Higher On Bets Of Peak Interest Rates

European stocks traded higher on Friday as weak U.S. economic data released overnight spurred bets that the Federal Reserve was done with its rate hikes for the year.

The monthly U.S. jobs report is likely to be in the spotlight today, with economists expecting employment to increase by 180,000 jobs in October after an increase of 336,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 3.8 percent.

Meanwhile, investors shrugged off data showing that Germany’s exports declined more than expected in September.

Exports decreased 2.4 percent month-on-month, in contrast to the 0.1 percent gain in August, Destatis reported. Economists had forecast shipments to decline 1.1 percent.

Elsewhere, data showed that industrial production in France fell for the second successive month in September.

The pan European STOXX 600 edged up 0.2 percent to 444.25 after rallying 1.6 percent on Thursday.

The German DAX and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 both rose about 0.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was marginally higher.

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk plunged almost 12 percent after an announcement that it plans to axe at least 10,000 jobs.

Swiss Re fell about 2 percent despite the property-and-casualty reinsurance firm swinging to a net profit for the third quarter, helped by lower catastrophes and higher rates.

Medical products maker Smith+Nephew jumped nearly 4 percent in London after playing down concerns about weight-loss drugs.

Currys surged 4.4 percent. As part of efforts to simplify its business, the electricals retailer has sold its Greece and Cyprus retail business Kotsovolos to Public Power Corporation S.A. for an enterprise value of 200 million euros ($212.4 million).

French lender Societe Generale rose over 1 percent despite reporting a decrease in its third-quarter earnings.

German automaker BMW rallied 2.8 percent after posting a margin of 9.8 percent in the third quarter for its luxury car business.

Volvo Car jumped 3.3 percent after sales rose 10 percent year-on-year in October.

Property company Deutsche Wohnen rose 1.9 percent as it reported preliminary FFO or funds from operations of 456.3 million euros or 1.15 euros per share for the 9-month period.

Real estate group Vonovia SE urged 4.4 after confirming its full-year guidance.

Krones AG advanced 2 percent. The packaging and bottling machine maker reported that its third quarter consolidated net income climbed 20.4 percent to 54.3 million euros from the prior year.

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