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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bumper week for shares, oil and euro as payrolls due
February 6, 2015 / 9:34 AM / in 3 years

GLOBAL MARKETS-Bumper week for shares, oil and euro as payrolls due

* World stocks head for strongest week since Oct
    * Concern about Greek developments keeps risk appetite in
    * Oil biggest 2-week gain since 1998, Copper strongest week
in 2 years
    * Euro clings on for biggest weekly rise since late 2013

    By Marc Jones
    LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - World shares were heading for
their strongest week since October as markets awaited U.S. jobs
data on Friday, while oil was shooting for a near 20 percent
rebound and the euro was gunning for its biggest weekly rise
since late 2013.
     European stocks dipped ahead of the data and the
region's bonds made ground as investors, who have faced
fluctuating sentiment over Greece's problems this week, squared
up positions. 
    Economists polled by Reuters expected U.S. employers to have
taken on 234,000 workers in January, below December's increase
of 252,000, but more than enough to keep the three-month average
the Federal Reserve likes to look at above the 200,000 mark.
    "Traders will be hoping for a Goldilocks number just above
200k, showing that the U.S. economy is ticking over nicely, but
not roaring ahead, as to invoke the Fed to start tightening
(raising interest rates)," Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital
Spreads, said in a note.
    The dollar nudged up against the main world
currencies as the payrolls, due at 1330 GMT, approached although
it was more noteworthy that it was heading for its first weekly
fall in eight weeks.
    Early Wall Street futures prices pointed to a slightly
higher open for the main New York boards . 
    Traders in most asset classes were keeping moves tight, as
is standard ahead of payrolls data -- not wanting to be caught
off-guard if the figures come in way outside the range of
    Many were also just happy to catch their breath after a
roller coaster start to the year, which has seen the European
Central Bank fire over a trillion euros at the euro zone and
central banks around the world make some jarring policy changes.
    The euro hovered at $1.1450 as it looked to cling on
to a 1.45 percent weekly gain, which would be its best since
September 2013. And that was despite Greece's debt wranglings
with the euro zone causing some big swings this week.
    Those worries were underscored on Thursday when German
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he had been unable to
find common ground with his Greek counterpart over plans by the
new government in Athens to renegotiate Greece's debts and halt
austerity measures.
    "We were both friendly and polite ... He told me his
position, which he has repeatedly said in recent days, and I
tried to explain our position to him and we were not able to
bridge the differences," Schaeuble said.
    After being battered almost constantly in recent months,
Greek stocks have rebounded 12 percent this week and the
country's bonds have had their strongest in almost
two years.
    HOT OIL 
    Oil, another of the global investment benchmarks like the
euro that nosedived at the end of last year, was also heading
for another bumper week as were Russian stocks and
growth-attuned metal copper. 
    Benchmark Brent crude futures were $1.70 higher on
the day at $58.28 a barrel and U.S. crude was also up
$1.5 at $52.50 a barrel. Brent has gained almost 20 percent
since last Friday and is on its strongest two-week run since
    Despite the surge, growing numbers of OPEC members say they
expect no rapid recovery back to the $100 a barrel level. Late
on Thursday top producer Saudi Arabia cut its monthly prices for
Asian buyers again. 
    The U.S. payrolls data is also expected to show the jobless
rate staying at a 6-1/2-year low of 5.6 percent, while average
hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.3 percent having fallen
0.2 percent in December. 
    U.S. Treasury yields were steady although it was
mostly time-filling ahead of the jobs figures. 
    Investors are hoping they could provide further clues as to
when the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates. It is
currently hinting at around the middle of the year but markets
still suspect it could shift the move back somewhat.
    "In December, these had recorded a surprise fall which
suggests we could see a countermove in January. If the wage data
disappoints the going will get tough for the dollar," said 
Esther Reichelt, currency strategist at Commerzbank.
    Asian trading had been largely uneventful. MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific ex-Japan ended flat with a
weekly gain of more than 1 percent, the Nikkei in Tokyo 
saw a slight weekly loss, while most Asian currencies notched
    China's shares, last year's star performers continued to
struggle. The CSI300 index of the largest listed
companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 1.6 percent and lost 3.5
percent on the week, while the Shanghai Composite fell
more than 4 percent for a second successive week.

 (Additional reporting by Anirban Nag in London; Editing by
Susan Fenton)

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