In Asia, Japan +0.5% to 8644. Hong Kong +0.2% to 19040. China -1.1% to 2361. India +2.2% to 16847.
In Europe, at midday, London +1.5%. Paris +1.6%. Frankfurt +1.7%.
Unemployment in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in November to a two-year low, while employers added fewer workers than projected and earnings eased, indicating the labor market is making limited progress.
The jobless rate declined to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, from 9 percent, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Payrolls climbed 120,000, with more than half the hiring coming from retailers and temporary help agencies, after a revised 100,000 rise in October that was more than initially estimated. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a gain of 125,000.
A European proposal to channel central bank loans through the International Monetary Fund may deliver as much as 200 billion euros ($270 billion) to fight the debt crisis, two people familiar with the negotiations said.
At a Nov. 29 meeting attended by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, euro-area finance ministers gave the go- ahead for work on the plan, said the people, who declined to be named because the talks are at an early stage. The need for a new crisis-containment tool emerged as the effort to boost the 440 billion-euro rescue fund to 1 trillion euros fell short.
Under the proposal, national central banks would recycle funds through the IMF, potentially to underwrite precautionary lending programs for Italy or Spain, the two countries judged to be the most vulnerable now, the people said.
The U.S. economy isn’t heading toward recession, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said on CNBC Friday morning. He said he’s worried about the situation in Europe but he’s not sure how big a risk it is, and said U.S. banks are “in pretty good shape.” Plosser, who said he doesn’t know what the jobs data will be, repeated his reluctance for further monetary policy action and said the Fed needs a “more structured” method of making decision. Plosser, who did not dissent in the last meeting after opposing the prior two decisions, said he did not want to “re-litigate” every move.
Research in Motion Ltd. RIMM said Friday it would fall short of its adjusted 2012 profit target of $5.25 to $6 a share, because of lower unit shipments in the fourth quarter. Wall Street analysts expect the BlackBerry maker to earn $4.59 a share in 2012, according to a survey by FactSet Research. The Waterloo, Ontario-based technology firm cited lower-than-expected sell-through in the third quarter and its current view of fourth quarter demand. For the third quarter, the company said it shipped 14.1 million BlackBerry smartphones in the third quarter, in line with its target range. The company expects third-quarter revenue to slightly lower than its forecast of $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion. It’ll also take a third-quarter, non-cash charge of $485 million related to its inventory valuation of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. The company reported $1.5 billion in cash at the end of the third quarter, up $80 million.