London - European equities advanced on Friday, with French hotel group Accor climbing on a report that China’s Jin Jiang was planning to hike its stake in the group, while a recovery in commodities prices boosted mining and energy stocks. Accor shares rose 3.1 percent, the top gainer in the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, after French newspaper Le Figaro reported that Jin Jiang was considering increasing its Accor holding to 29 percent. Accor declined to comment. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.6 percent, but the index was down nearly 1 percent for the week after gaining for the previous three weeks running.
The STOXX Europe 600 index was up 0.5 percent. Investors avoided placing big bets ahead of U.S. jobs data that could provide some hints about the timing of the Federal Reserve’s likely move on hike interest rates. Non-farm payrolls probably rose by 164,000 jobs in May after rising by 160,000 in April, according to a Reuters survey. “Markets are mainly in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the U.S. jobs data, with the importance of the report rising more than usual this time as the Fed has indicated that it is considering a rate hike sooner rather than later,” Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis, said. “A jobs figure outside the consensus has the potential to move stock markets quite violently.”
Commodities stocks were in demand, with the European basic resources index rising 1.6 percent, the top sectoral gainer, as prices of copper, aluminium and zinc rose 0.5 to 1.0 percent. Shares in Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton were up 2.2 to 2.5 percent. The European oil and gas index advanced 1.6 percent as Brent oil prices rose 0.5 percent to trade above $50 a barrel following an OPEC meeting that failed to agree on output targets, but which was seen as supportive as Saudi Arabia pledged not to flood the market with more fuel. Shares in oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell were up 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. On the downside, Airbus fell 1.4 percent, the top decliner in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after the European Aviation Safety Authority grounded Airbus H225 LP and AS332 L2 Super Puma helicopters following the discovery of metal fatigue in the gearbox of a Super Puma that fatally crashed in Norway on April 29.