European markets advanced cautiously on Friday, pushing toward record highs as global stocks take heart from strong economic data out of the U.S.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.2% in early trade, with media stocks adding 0.6% to lead gains as all sectors except autos inched into positive territory.
The European blue chip index notched an intraday all-time high on Thursday at 447.82 points, before paring gains slightly to close at 446.44. Investors will be expecting fresh highs Friday.
Global equities look to be heading for a seventh consecutive day of gains after first-time jobless claims in the U.S. fell to a new pandemic low of 406,000, according to Labor Department data on Thursday, delivering a positive indication of the health of the recovery in the world’s largest economy.
Asian stocks advanced in Friday’s trade, led by a gain of more than 2% for Japan’s Nikkei 225, while U.S. stock futures are pointing to a strong open on Wall Street later in the day.