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Global shares edge higher ahead of US jobs data

SINGAPORE — Global markets advanced on Friday and Wall Street was headed for gains as traders eyed the release of U.S. jobs data for April.

Germany’s DAX was up 0.3% to 12,384 and the CAC 40 in France gained 0.2% to 5,550. Britain’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.8% to 7,409, after a private survey showed that services sector activity improved in April.

Economists expect the U.S. government to report another solid month of job growth in April, forecasting that employers added 181,000 jobs in April and that the unemployment rate held at 3.8%.

The future contract for the S&P 500 index added 0.3% to 2,925, while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was more than 0.2% higher at 26,327.

“Steady trading ahead of the non-farms seems likely,” said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets.

Benchmarks in Asia were mixed with thin trading on Friday, as news reports highlighting obstacles in the way of a China-U.S. trade deal weighed on sentiment.

U.S. website Politico, citing a representative of a lobbying group for American businesses, reported that the deal may not see China putting a commitment to cut back on state subsidies in writing. Global Times, a Chinese tabloid, noted there were fewer details from recent negotiations in Beijing. But there was an overall consensus that both countries would ink a deal at some point.

The Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.7% to 2,196.32 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5% to 30,081.55. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was less than 0.1% lower at 6,335.80. Stocks rose in Taiwan but fell in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Markets in Japan and mainland China were closed.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 3 cents to $61.78 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It sank $1.79 to settle at $61.81 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 20 cents to $70.55 per barrel. It gave up $1.43 to close at $70.75 per barrel in the previous session.

CURRENCIES: The dollar held at 111.50 Japanese yen and the euro fell to $1.1146 from $1.1176.

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Matt Ott in Madrid contributed to this report.

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