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European Shares To Start the Quarter Up

European stocks were indicated to open higher on Friday, the first day of the second quarter, with investors eagerly awaiting the U.S. non-farm payroll numbers for March.

Martin Barraud | OJO Images | Getty Images

European shares were lower on Thursday, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closing 0.5 percent lower at 1.128.89 points, halting an almost uninterrupted two-week recovery rally as rekindled fears over Portugal's debt crisis prompted investors to book profits on the last session of the quarter. The index ended the roller-coaster quarter with a gain of 0.6 percent.

The UK's FTSE 100 index ended the first quarter 0.14 percent higher, while Germany's DAX index was up 1.83 percent for the quarter, and France's CAC index rose 4.84 percent in the first three months of 2011.

The FTSE was indicated to rise 20 points at the open on Friday to 5,929, while the DAX index was set to jump 44 points to 7,085, and the CAC index was shown 22 points higher at 4,011, according to IG Markets.

Asian shares gained on Friday ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report. Economists polled by Reuters expect the U.S. to have added 190,000 jobs in March, with the unemployment rate dropping to 8.9 percent.

Investors will digest the results of Irish stress tests released after the market close Thursday which showed Ireland's four remaining banks require another 24 billion euros ($34.1 billion) to enable them to withstand potential losses from a worsening of the economy.

March euro zone manufacturing PMI data is out Friday morning, as well as February unemployment data for the euro zone.

Later in the day, attention will shift to a key employment report out of the United States which will provide investors with an indication of the recovery there.

Portugal will also remain in focus as well after news on Thursday that the country's 2010 budget deficit came in above target, adding to the problems it already faces.

The revision of the deficit to 8.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) piled more pressure on Lisbon to follow Ireland and Greece in seeking an international bailout, sending the country's bond yields to new euro lifetime highs, Reuters reported.

Contact Europe: Economy

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