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European Stocks Seen Mixed Ahead Of US Jobs Data

European stocks are seen opening mixed on Monday, as investors brace for Tuesday's U.S. jobs report for September, which was delayed by 21/2 weeks because of the partial government shutdown. October's employment report is pushed back by a week to November 8.

Besides the jobs reports, investors will digest a slew of U.S. data this week to get an idea of when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its bond-buying program. As of now, a majority of market players and economists expect the Fed to delay its tapering plans until such time the American lawmakers find a more permanent solution to Washington's fiscal woes.

The Asian markets are trading mostly higher, with Chinese shares leading the way after the Chinese Cabinet reiterated its confidence in meeting this year's growth targets. The Japanese yen fell against most of its major peers after official data showed the country's trade deficit widened more than expected in September.

Closer home, house prices in the U.K. rebounded in October after two consecutive months of declines with prices surging 10.2 percent to a new record high in London due to demand from overseas investors, a survey by the Rightmove revealed. The average asking price for a house in the United Kingdom rose 2.8 percent compared to the previous month as prices returned to a growth trend with the onset of autumn. On a yearly basis, house prices added 3.8 percent after rising 4.5 percent in the previous month.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that will help foster growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic. The overall benefits of the agreement are expected to raise the level of the EU's annual GDP by approximately EUR 12 billion a year.

A court in Milan on Saturday ruled that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi cannot hold public office and run in elections for two years. The ruling was part of the media mogul's conviction in a tax fraud case. Berlusconi's lawyers said they will appeal to the Supreme Court.

In corporate news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given its nod to Opsumit, a new drug to treat adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension developed by Switzerland-based biopharmaceutical firm Actelion.

German laboratory and process equipment provider Sartorius AG confirmed its earnings forecast for the current year based on the Group's business performance in the first nine months of 2013.

Royal Philips reported higher third-quarter net income of 281 million euros compared to 105 million euros last year. However, sales slipped to 5.62 billion euros from 5.82 billion euros a year ago.

Private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP is considering making an offer worth 1 billion pounds for U.K.-based security services provider G4S Plc.'s cash solutions business, the Bloomberg reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.

Business software maker SAP AG said it expects full-year 2013 non-IFRS operating profit to be in a range of 5.85 billion euros - 5.95 billion euros at constant currencies.

Akzo Nobel N.V. reported third-quarter net income attributable to shareholders, including impairment, of 155 million euros, compared to a loss of 2.37 billion euros last year.

Evotec AG announced that it has signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to explore compounds and targets with novel mechanisms that have disease-modifying potential for the treatment of chronic kidney diseases.

Electricité de France SA and the U.K. government announced that they have reached an agreement for an investment contract of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

The European markets rose notably on Friday, with a batch of stronger than expected U.S. earnings reports and easing concerns over the strength of economic recovery in China underpinning sentiment. The German DAX rose 0.6 percent, France's CAC 40 advanced 1.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.7 percent.

U.S. stocks also rose on Friday as investors cheered encouraging GDP data out of China and earnings from big-name companies like Google Inc., General Electric and Morgan Stanley. The Dow posted a modest 0.2 percent gain, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied 1.4 percent to a fresh thirteen-year high and the S&P 500 advanced 0.7 percent to a record high.

by RTT Staff Writer