World stocks slipped slightly and the dollar was steady on Friday as investors waited for U.S. jobs data, the latest signal about how far the U.S. economy is recovering.

Markets were also digesting the impact of the European Central Bank's decision to start withdrawing stimulus measures put in place to combat the financial crisis.

The U.S. economy, the world's biggest, has come out of recession but unemployment is lagging and has yet to turn.

A Reuters poll suggests that about 130,000 jobs were lost in November compared with 190,000 in October.

A more negative payrolls figure than the one the market is expecting could undermine the tenuous risk-on' stance of markets, threatening (the euro), equities, and gold strength, ING said on a note.

European shares fell in early trade, tracking a late slide overnight in the United States, with banks among the biggest losers.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent.

World stocks as measured by MSCI <.MIWD00000PUS> were down 0.2 percent.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei stock average <.N225> edged up 0.4 percent on the day.

But it closed above 10,000 for the first time in five weeks and rose 10.4 percent on the week, its biggest weekly gain in over a year.


The dollar was steady in cautious trade ahead of the jobs data.

Analysts said a better-than-forecast report would weigh on the dollar as risk appetite picked up, encouraging investors to turn instead toward perceived higher-risk currencies.

Risk appetite seems to have recovered slightly after the negative report on U.S. services yesterday which definitely weighed, said Sverre Holbek, strategist at Danske Bank in Copenhagen.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 74.703 <.DXY> by 0851 GMT (3:51 a.m. EST), while the euro was steady at $1.5063.

On Thursday the euro neared a 16-month high against the dollar around $1.5140 after ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said the next 12-month refinancing operation for banks would be the last.

Euro zone government bond prices held steady.

(Additional reporting by Jessica Mortimer; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)