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European Stocks To See Cautious Start Ahead Of Jobs Report

European stocks are seen opening flat to slightly lower on Tuesday as investors stay on the sidelines awaiting the U.S. September jobs report due out later in the day.

Economists expect the delayed report to show an increase of about 185,000 jobs in September compared to the addition of 169,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 7.3 percent. The employment report, originally scheduled for release on October 4th, has been delayed due to the 16-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government.

October's employment report, previously due for release on Nov. 1, will now be released on November 8. The FOMC meeting scheduled for Oct. 29-30 will weigh the impact from the partial government shutdown while considering plans to reduce its bond purchases. With important fiscal issues remaining unresolved and inflation hovering below the Fed's 2 percent target, many economists think that the Fed will be wary of trimming its $85 billion-a-month bond buying program before March next year.

The Asian markets are turning in a mixed performance ahead of the influential nonfarm-payroll data, which will help determine when the Federal Reserve would start tapering its bond-buying program. The U.S. dollar is holding steady against its major rival following recent steep losses.

Closer home, construction activity in the U.K. improved markedly in the third quarter as chartered surveyors reported an increase in house building, survey data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed. A net balance of 41 percent of survey participants registered an increase in private-sector home building, up from 31 percent in the second quarter.

In corporate news, Swedish telecom operator Tele2 AB reported a net loss of 171 million kronor for the third quarter in comparison with a profit of 980 million kronor last year.

Swedbank AB said its third-quarter profit from continuing operations rose to SEK 4.187 billion from SEK 3.478 billion a year ago.

Swiss drug maker Novartis AG raised its full-year outlook despite posting lower third-quarter Group net income of $2.26 billion, down 6 percent from $2.42 billion last year.

Guerbet has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Lipiodol Injection for management of patients with known hepatocellular carcinoma.

Singapore's Petra Foods said that it is in dispute with Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut AG after the cocoa and chocolate products maker sought a pricing discount for Petra's cocoa unit that Barry Callebaut agreed to buy in December 2012.

The European markets turned in a mixed performance on Monday as investors awaited a deluge of U.S. data this week for further clues about Fed policy. Solid earnings reports from companies such as Philips and SAP helped to limit the downside to some extent. France's CAC 40 slid 0.2 percent and the German DAX closed flat, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose half a percent.

U.S. stocks closed largely unchanged overnight as investors digested mixed earnings reports from prominent companies such as McDonald's Corp. and Halliburton Co and avoided making big bets ahead of the release of the September jobs report. Traders, meanwhile, largely shrugged off a report from the National Association of Realtors, which showed that sales of existing homes pulled back in September from an almost four-year high.

by RTT Staff Writer