By Georgi Kantchev

Global stocks fell slightly Friday and the dollar gained as investors positioned themselves ahead of the U.S. jobs report.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.3% in early trade, with France's CAC 40 losing 0.5% and Germany's DAX down 0.2%. Asian markets were mixed, with stocks in Hong Kong gaining while Japanese shares pulled back.

U.S. futures pointed to small opening losses on Wall Street, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures down 0.1%. Changes in equity futures don't necessarily reflect moves after the opening bell.

The dollar strengthened Friday after falling to its lowest level since mid-December on Thursday on weak economic data and a surge in the Chinese yuan.

Many investors are looking to the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for December, due tobe released later in the day, to gauge the strength of the postelection rally. Expectations of a higher-growth, higher-rate environment under President-elect Donald Trump have fueled a broad stocks rally and helped push the dollar to its highest level in 14 years while also sending government bond yields higher since the November election.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect employers added 183,000 nonfarm jobs. That would be a slight acceleration in job creation compared with November when U.S. employers added 178,000 positions. The U.S. has added more than 15 million jobs since the labor market bottomed out in early 2010.

The ICE Dollar Index, which measures the buck against a basket of other currencies, was up 0.2%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which rises as prices fall, was 2.374% Friday, up from 2.370% at Thursday's close.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.3% while Hong Kong's HangSeng rose 0.2%. Most commodities were trading down as the dollar, which is used to price everything from oil to copper, gained strength. Brent crude oil was down 0.3% at $56.74 a barrel while gold was down 0.5% at $1,175 an ounce.

Write to Georgi Kantchev at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2017 04:15 ET (09:15 GMT)

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