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European shares edge up as investors bet on US boost

Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 4:14 AM ET

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.5 pct

* Cyclical stocks rise as boost expected from US jobs data

* Euro zone concerns cap appetite

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - European shares traded slightly higher on Friday, keeping within their recent range, as expectations for a sentiment boost from U.S. macro data day partly offset lingering concerns about crisis-struck Europe.

Cyclical basic resources and oil & gas

stocks led gainers with the market expecting U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) data, due at 1230 GMT, to show the world's largest economy was picking up.

Jobs likely increased by 113,000 last month, even though the jobless rate likely ticked up to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in August.

UK-listed miner Rio Tinto was among top gainers, along with French oil services group Technip , which was also boosted by a contract win in Mexico.

"A good NFP reading could help German, French or UK stocks but Italy and Spain are more focused on the European problems so if there are problems in Spain they're going to be left behind," a trader said.

Appetite for equities has been capped by uncertainty over Spain's debt crisis as Madrid hesitated over asking for a bailout that would pave the way for monetary support from the European Central Bank.

Smaller Spanish lenders Bankia

and Banco Popular

underperformed on Friday, shedding 3.3 percent and 0.1 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300

index was up 0.3 percent at 1,104.22 points by 0751 GMT. The euro zone blue-chip Euro STOXX 50

was up 0.5 percent at 2,498.39.

Charts on the Euro STOXX 50 December futures

, up 0.7 percent at 2,493, showed the index enjoyed technical support in the 2,468 area, which halted a fall on Thursday and triggered bounces in the previous two sessions.

"As long as prices are above 2,468, a new up leg remains the most likely scenario towards (yesterday's high at) 2,507," Nicolas Suiffet, a technical analyst at Paris-based Trading Central, said.

Suiffet added the index could rise as high as 2,538 points in the very short term. This level roughly corresponds to the 61.8 percent retracement of a down move in the second half of September

"Alternatively, a push below 2,468 would lead, at least, to 2438 points," he cautioned.

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Graphic of asset returns in 2012:

Euro zone debt crisis in graphics:

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(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

((francesco.canepa@thomsonreuters.com)(0044)(0)(2075423871)(Reu

ers Messaging: francesco.canepa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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