earnings, Covid-19 and economic data

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LONDON — European markets were muted on Friday morning as investors monitored a fresh round of corporate earnings and the global spread of the delta Covid-19 variant.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade, with insurance stocks climbing 0.4% while banks slipped 0.4% amid a quiet start to the session.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were also mixed in Friday’s trade as rising Covid cases continued to weigh on sentiment, while investors awaited the release of a key jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department.

Stateside, U.S. stock futures were little changed in early premarket trade ahead of the highly anticipated jobs report, with economists predicting that the economy will have added 845,000 jobs in July. The nonfarm payrolls report is due at 1:30 p.m. London time.

Earnings remain in focus in Europe, with the world’s largest shipping firm Maersk reporting Friday, along with Allianz, Vonovia and the London Stock Exchange.

Maersk, the…

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