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Europe Markets: European stocks edge back from record high as key U.S. report looms

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European stocks edged back from record highs on Thursday with markets awaiting pivotal U.S. jobs data.

Up 13% this year, the Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
-0.15%

slipped 0.2%.

U.S. stock futures
ES00,
-0.17%

were slightly weaker. The S&P 500
SPX,
+0.14%

closed Wednesday with a slight 0.1% gain to the third-highest finish in history.

Ahead of the release of Friday’s jobs report, ADP will release its estimate of private-sector payrolls, and the Institute for Supply Management will report on the services purchasing managers index.

It also will be the first opportunity to react to the news the Federal Reserve is selling its corporate bond portfolio acquired during the crisis. A bipartisan infrastructure spending package is still a possibility after President Joe Biden and Republican senator Shelley Moore Capito agreed to hold another round of talks on Friday.

French construction materials company Saint-Gobain
SGO,
+3.45%

rose 4% after it forecast record operating income in the first half of the year.

B&M European Value Retail
BME,
-3.17%

fell 3% as the retailer said U.K. like-for-like sales in the first nine weeks of fiscal 2022 fell 1%, as it forecast a decline in margins for the year. In France, it said sales were “pleasing” since the lockdown ended on May 19. B&M more than doubled its profit in the year ending March 27 on 24% like-for-like sales growth in the U.K.

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