European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower, focus on U.S. jobs data
(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report)
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - European equities headed for a weaker start on the first trading day of the second quarter on Friday, with losses on Wall Street and in Asia and weaker commodity prices seen prompting investors to cut their exposure to riskier assets.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX , France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were down by 0.7-1.3 percent.
In Asia, shares lost more ground as investors began the new quarter in a cautious mood, with glimmers of life in China's economy offset by a darkening mood in Japan.
Activity in China's vast manufacturing sector expanded in March for the first time in nine months as the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) surprised at 50.2. A private version of the PMI also beat forecasts by rising to its highest in 13 months.
Yet shares in Shanghai fell 0.3 percent. Not helping was Standard & Poor's decision to cut China's credit outlook to negative, saying Beijing's reform agenda was likely to proceed more slowly than expected. A gloomy survey of Japanese manufacturers added to selling pressure and dragged the Nikkei down 3.6 percent.
Focus will be on the U.S. payrolls report later on Friday as any sign of strength in wages might revive the risk of higher U.S. interest rates.
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