A stall selling Christmas specialties is seen in a pedestrian area of Berlin's Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district on December 3, 2020.
European stocks rose Friday, alongside U.S. equity futures as investors waited to see if the latest American jobs numbers will show damage from the resurgent pandemic. Drug and energy companies were leading the gains.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.13% rose 0.2% after a mostly flat session Thursday. The index has gained 0.8% this week to kick off the last trading month of 2021. The FTSE 100 UK:UKX led the regional indexes with a 0.7% gain, while the German DAX DAX, -0.10% was flat and the French CAC 40 PX1, +0.34% rose 0.4%.
U.S. stock futures rose. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.28% closed higher and S&P 500 SPX, -0.06% finished lower, but both off intraday highs after Pfizer PFE, -1.74% said it expected to ship only half of the vaccines it had planned to deliver this year. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.22% booked a new closing record.
Investors are waiting for U.S. payrolls data, which is expected to show jobs growth slowed in November amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in recent weeks. Economists polled by MarketWatch are predicting a 438,000 rise, down from the 638,000 gain seen in the previous month.
In Europe, data from Germany showed manufacturing orders rose for the sixth straight month ahead of a second lockdown.
Major oil companies were higher, with shares of Royal Dutch Shell RDSA, +2.13% RDS.A, +0.87% and BP BP, +1.37% BP, +2.06% up 3% each, and Total TOT FR:FP up around 2%. Those gains came as crude prices CL.1, +2.10% BRN00, +2.13% continued to rise after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies on Thursday agreed to a gradual rise in crude production starting in January, defying earlier expectations for an extension of current cuts in output.
Shares of Associated British Foods ABF, +1.73% rose nearly 3% after the U.K. conglomerate said autumn store closures likely cost it 430 million pounds ($578.4 million) in sales, but that it still expects full-year Primark revenue and profit to beat fiscal 2020 results.
SSE SSE, +2.68% shares rose 4%. The FTSE 100 energy company said that Italian oil group ENI ENI, +1.98% E, +0.49% has agreed to acquire a 20% stake in the Dogger Bank A and B wind farm project owned by SSE and Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company Equinor EQNR, -0.18% EQNR, +2.15%.