Sstock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.1 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.12 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.03 percent at 0745 GMT.
* Investors braced for the all-important U.S. data on June employment, due at 1230 GMT, which likely contracted for the first time this year as thousands of temporary jobs for census workers ended, though private-sector hiring probably picked up, according to a Reuters survey.
* With mounting fears of a double-dip recession, the employment report will be keenly watched for fresh insight on the strength of the U.S. economic recovery. A recent flurry of sluggish U.S. macro data and sovereign debt worries in Europe have knocked down equities while boosting the appeal of safe-haven U.S. Treasuries.
* The dollar was on the defensive against the euro on Friday, holding near five-week lows, after a big short squeeze in the European currency ahead of U.S. jobs data.
* Australia ended a damaging dispute with global miners on Friday by dumping its super profits tax for a lower resources rent tax backed by big miners, clearing a major hurdle to call an early election. The news helped lift European stocks, which were up 0.2 percent in morning trade, led by mining shares such as Rio Tinto and Xstrata .
* Japan's Nikkei stock average ended slightly higher after a choppy session on Friday.
* Biotech shares will be in the spotlight. French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA is preparing an acquisition in the United States that may be worth $20 billion or more, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. A Sanofi-Aventis spokesman declined to comment.
* British power supply systems maker Chloride has recommended a $1.5 billion takeover by U.S. conglomerate Emerson Electric , bringing to an end a long-running bid battle.
* Lions Gate Entertainment Corp said late on Thursday that it has adopted a shareholder rights plan, in a move to deter billionaire Carl Icahn's hostile attempt to buy the independent Hollywood studio.
* Shares of Wilshire Bancorp Inc fell 15 percent to $7.28 in extended trading on Thursday after the company forecast a second-quarter loss.
* U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as manufacturing and labor market data heightened fears of a double-dip recession before Friday's key employment report.
* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 41.49 points, or 0.42 percent, to 9,732.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 3.33 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,027.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 7.88 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,101.36.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)