RTTNews - The major markets across Europe are poised for a flat to slightly higher opening on Friday, after they retreated yesterday following losses on Wall Street on Thursday in reaction to weak U.S. jobs data. Traders may look forward to the retail sales report from the euro zone region for further cues ahead of the weekend. The U.S markets are closed for holiday on the eve of Independence Day. The Asian markets are lower and the prices of commodities are also showing weakness.

In the U.S, disappointing employment data for June dragged the indices sharply lower amid fresh concerns about growth prospects. A Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 467,000 jobs in June following a revised decrease of 322,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected a decrease of about 365,000 jobs compared to the loss of 345,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. Amid the weak employment report, traders shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing that orders for manufactured goods rose 1.2% in May following a downwardly revised 0.5% increase in April. Economists had expected orders to rise 0.9% compared to the 0.7% increase originally reported for the previous month.

The Dow closed down by 223.32 points or 2.6% at 8,281, the Nasdaq fell by 49.20 points or 2.7% to 1,797, and the S&P 500 closed down 26.91 points or 2.9% at 896.

Thursday, the markets in Europe closed sharply lower reflecting the disappointing employment reports in the U.S and the Eurozone. As expected, the ECB left its interest rates unchanged and ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled that the central bank has no immediate plans to cut interest rates again. He also expressed hope that the euro region's economy will start to recover in the middle of 2010.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 2.62% lower at 843, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 2.81% to 2,076. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index fell 2.45%, or 106.44 points, to 4,234, while France's CAC 40 index slipped 3.13% or 100.59 points, to 3,116 and Germany's DAX index dropped 3.81%, or 186.95 points, to 4,718.

On the economic front, the Eurozone retail sales data is due at 5.00am ET. On a monthly basis, sales are expected to fall 0.1%, taking the annual decline to 2.7%. At 4.30am ET, the HM Treasury is likely to release data on British official reserves in June. At the same time, the Bank of England would be announcing housing equity withdrawal figures for the first quarter. Services PMI reports for Eurozone, Germany, France, Italy and U.K. are also due later in the day.

In corporate news, United Business Media Ltd (UBM.L) might react to news from the company that it has acquired the remaining 48% of the holding company of RISI, Inc. from its joint venture partner Pegasus Partners II, LP for a total cash consideration of $14.3 million.

Balfour Beatty plc (BBY.L) may see some upside after the company reaffirmed that trading performance in the year continues to be in line with expectations, underpinned by continued infrastructure expenditure by its customers, the benefit of acquisitions and its tight control of costs.

Automakers across the region including Volkswagen AG, Porsche SE, BMW GY and Daimler AG may react to disappointing sales numbers for June.

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