Economic data in focus as traders track OPEC meeting
Stateside, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy was doing very well, shortly before the release of November employment data.
Financial markets are likely to closely monitor the release of U.S. payrolls data on Friday, amid concern the U.S. economy could be heading for a tough patch after years of robust growth.
In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, rose 0.4 percent on Friday.
Back in Europe, Germany could be about to find out who is likely to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as the country’s largest and dominant political party holds a crucial election on Friday.
In October, Merkel announced she would not run for the post and has effectively started to wind down her political career.
Elsewhere, Denmark’s Danske Bank is scheduled to hold an extraordinary general meeting to elect a new chairman and vice chairman Friday afternoon. It comes after the bank’s largest shareholder ousted the head of Dankse Bank’s board this month following a money laundering scandal.
On the data front, Italy is set to publish retail sales figures for October at around 9:00 a.m. London time, with a final reading of third-quarter employment change data for the euro area expected to follow at 10:00 a.m.
In energy markets, oil prices added to recent losses Friday morning as OPEC delayed a decision over output cuts. The influential cartel and its allied oil-producing nations are set to debate the terms of production cuts in Vienna, Austria on Friday.