* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct, remains in recent range
* ArcelorMittal reverses recent slide as results beat forecasts
* Strong U.S. payrolls could impact interest rate outlook
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Nov 7 (Reuters) - European shares were steady on Friday morning, supported by positive corporate results from blue-chips including ArcelorMittal as investors awaited key U.S. monthly jobs data.
The world’s largest steelmaker gained 3.6 percent, reversing recent losses, after it reported a higher-than-expected profit in the third quarter and said improvements in its steel business were more than offsetting weak mining operations.
German insurer Allianz rose 3.4 percent after it raised the amount of profit it will pay shareholders as a dividend and promised to keep the cash flowing after unveiling a forecast-beating jump in net profit in the third quarter.
At 0843 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,354.26 points. The index has been stuck in a range over the past week, with strong corporate results offsetting weak European macro data.
“There’s still no trend at the moment, this market is driven by short-term speculative positions mostly played by hedge funds,” said Jean-Louis Cussac, head of Paris-based firm Perceval Finance.
“With the year coming to an end, a lot of fund managers are more concerned about protecting the gains made so far this year then to make fresh bets.”
All eyes were on the U.S. jobs data, due at 1330 GMT. A Reuters survey saw employers hiring new workers at a fairly brisk pace in October, underscoring the economy’s resilience in the face of slowing global demand.
The survey forecast 231,000 new jobs were added during the month, after 248,000 in September. The unemployment rate was seen holding steady at a six-year low of 5.9 percent.
Around Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.5 percent and Germany’s DAX up 0.2 percent, with France’s CAC 40 flat.
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems was among top gainers, up 10 percent after raising its full-year guidance and posted a third quarter result that beat forecasts.
About 70 percent of European companies have reported so far this earnings season, with 59 percent meeting or beating profit forecasts, and 61 percent meeting or beating revenue forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
In absolute terms, profits are up 13.6 percent versus the same quarter a year ago, while revenues are up 1.3 percent, highlighting the fact that Europe’s earnings rebound has mostly been coming from cost-cutting and lower financing costs.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Editing by Catherine Evans