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Market Update

European Markets Edge Up; Eye U.S. Jobs Report

European markets were slightly up Friday as investors opted to remain cautious just ahead of the U.S. monthly jobs report due later before the U.S. market open.

The FTSE was up 0.3%. The CAC 40 Paris edged up 0.2% while the German DAX also edged up 0.2%.

Earlier today, data showed German exports were up 3% in April while imports rose 0.1%. Industrial output also rose, although less than expected as it grew just 0.2%. The trade balance stood at 17.7 billion euro, beating expectations for a 15.2 billion euro surplus.

Signaling robust growth ahead, the Bundesbank increased its 2014 growth forecast by 0.2 percentage points to 1.9% and also kept its 2015 target unchanged at 2%. The Bundesbank also estimated a 1.8% growth rate for 2016.

Elsewhere, data showed the U.K.’s trade deficit widened more than expected to a seasonally adjusted 8.92 billion pounds in April compared with 8.29 billion pounds in March.

Stocks on the Move

Vodafone was up 1.3% in London even as the company released a report disclosing the existence of secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to conversations on its networks in some countries.

Over in Paris, BNP Paribas was down 0.8% even as unconfirmed media reports said the lender was asked to pay a penalty as high as $16 billion during negotiations with U.S. authorities.

Valeo SA was up 3.5% after it emerged the stock was to be added to the CAC 40 index in place of pipe and tube maker Vallourec shares of whom were down 1.8%.