The DAX index has recorded slight gains in the Thursday session. Currently, the DAX is at 13,024.50, up 0.20% on the day. On the release front, German Industrial Production declined 1.4%, well off the forecast of a 0.9% gain. Eurozone Revised GDP for the third quarter posted a respectable gain of 0.6%, matching the estimate. Later in the day, ECB President Mario Draghi will host a press conference presented by the Bank for International Settlements in Frankfurt. The markets will be looking for clues regarding future monetary policy moves. On Friday, Germany releases Trade Balance. The US will release key employment numbers, led by Nonfarm Employment Change.

A strong eurozone economy has boosted investor confidence, and European stock markets have responded with strong gains. The manufacturing sector continues to expand, exports have surged and unemployment continues to head lower. The latest ECB economic forecast is predicting GDP of 2.2% in 2017 and inflation of 1.2%. Things are so good that the ECB finally acted and tapered its asset purchase program, although it did extend the program until September 2018. Still, the cautious ECB said on Wednesday that it was concerned about "increased risk-taking behavior in global financial markets" as this could lead to sharp asset price corrections. The ECB is also keeping its eye on political uncertainty in Europe, notably the deadlocked Brexit negotiations and the political vacuum in Germany. In the meantime, European stock markets remain at high levels and the euro is enjoying the view from the 1.18 level.

The US labor market remains strong, and the last thing that investors want to see is a soft reading from Nonfarm Employment Change release. ADP Nonfarm Payrolls came in as expected on Wednesday, with a gain of 190 thousand. Still, this was a soft reading compared to the previous release, which showed a gain of 235 thousand. The markets are keeping a close eye on the official Nonfarm Employment Change report, which will be released on Friday. Again, the markets are expecting a soft landing, with a forecast of 200 thousand, down from 261 thousand in the October release. If nonfarm payrolls, one of the most important indicators, is weaker than expected, global stock markets could respond with losses.


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