© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com – European stock markets are expected to open marginally lower Friday, ending the week on a cautious note ahead of a speech by ECB President Christine Lagarde as well as the keenly-awaited U.S. monthly jobs report.

At 02:00 AM ET (0600 GMT), the contract in Germany traded 0.3% lower, in France dropped 0.1% and the contract in the U.K. fell 0.4%.

European indices closed sharply higher Thursday, continuing the rebound seen after the brutal sell-off in the first half of the year as investors try to shake off concerns about a looming recession. 

However, central bank actions are keeping these investors on edge as they try to assess the impact of aggressive rate hikes on global growth.

With this in mind, a speech by European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde later in the session on the risks facing the global economy will be of great interest ahead of the central bank’s next meeting in which it is expected to lift interest rates.

Also of prime importance will be the release of the latest monthly U.S., which is expected to shed more light on economic trends with the number of Americans in paid employment seen increasing modestly though not by as much as the number of jobs added in May.

In Europe, the economic calendar on Friday includes French as well as Italian . 

The shooting of Japanese former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier Friday while campaigning for a national election as well as the ongoing political crisis in the U.K. which has seen the departure from office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson create an air of uncertainty in the global markets.

Oil prices stabilized Friday but are still on course for a second straight weekly loss as recession fears, and the associated demand destruction, continued to weigh.

U.S. crude inventories hit two-month highs last week, according to Thursday’s data from the , with stockpiles at just over 8 million barrels.

By 02:00 AM ET, futures traded 0.1% lower at $102.63 a barrel, while the contract rose 0.3% to $104.98. Both benchmarks fell to near three-month lows on Wednesday, while Brent’s $10.73 drop on Tuesday was the third biggest for the contract since it started trading in 1988.

Additionally, rose 0.1% to $1,741.35/oz, while edged lower to 1.0158.

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