European stocks may open higher Friday on trade optimism after U.S. President Donald Trump said that U.S.-China trade talks are "moving right along."
Asked whether he will go ahead with additional tariffs in less than two weeks, Trump said, "We're not discussing that, but we are having very major discussions."
Also, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday told reporters that trade talks with China are on track, but the United States is not bound to a deadline.
Meanwhile, as Trump's impeachment looks all-but-certain, the President and his allies are now signaling they will mount a robust defense in the Senate where Trump will face trial.
Asian markets are moving higher as investors look ahead to the release of U.S. payrolls data due tonight.
Economists expect U.S. employment to increase by 180,000 jobs in November after an increase of 128,000 jobs in October. The jobless rate is expected to hold at 3.6 percent.
Closer home, the U.K. labor market conditions remained challenging in November amid election and Brexit uncertainty, the Report on Jobs from IHS Markit revealed.
According to Recruitment & Employment Confederation/KPMG report, permanent placements declined for the ninth straight month, while temp billings logged a marginal growth in November.
Destatis is scheduled to release Germany's industrial output data for October. Economists expect production to rise 0.1 percent month on month, in contrast to a 0.6 percent fall in September.
U.K. Halifax house price data is also due. Economists expect house prices to increase 1 percent year on year in November, faster than the 0.9 percent rise seen in October.
Gold traded flat and the U.S. dollar nursed losses while the British pound stood tall on expectations that next week's election will give the Conservative Party the parliamentary majority it needs to deliver Brexit.
Oil prices fell slightly but hovered near two-month highs after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on further output cuts.
U.S. stocks recovered from an early slide to end modestly higher overnight after a Chinese official said that trade talks were progressing but Beijing wants a rollback of existing tariffs to be included as a part of any resolution.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two nations remain at odds over the value of farm goods Beijing will buy from the U.S.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up around 0.1 percent while the S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent.
European markets edged lower on Thursday as investors awaited more clarity on the U.S.-China trade talks and an OPEC meeting.
The pan European Stoxx 600 slid 0.1 percent. The German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both dropped around 0.7 percent while France's CAC 40 index finished marginally higher.