U.S. stock index futures mixed ahead of payrolls

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall
Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ) down 0.1
percent, Dow Jones (DJc1: ) futures down 0.12 percent and Nasdaq
100 (NDc1: ) futures up 0.03 percent at 0745 GMT.

* Investors braced for the all-important U.S. data on June
employment, due at 1230 GMT, which likely contracted for the
first time this year as thousands of temporary jobs for census
workers ended, though private-sector hiring probably picked up,
according to a Reuters survey. [ID:nN01165161]

* With mounting fears of a double-dip recession, the
employment report will be keenly watched for fresh insight on
the strength of the U.S. economic recovery. A recent flurry of
sluggish U.S. macro data and sovereign debt worries in Europe
have knocked down equities while boosting the appeal of
safe-haven U.S. Treasuries.

* The dollar was on the defensive against the euro on
Friday, holding near five-week lows, after a big short squeeze
in the European currency ahead of U.S. jobs data.

* Australia ended a damaging dispute with global miners on
Friday by dumping its “super profits” tax for a lower resources
rent tax backed by big miners, clearing a major hurdle to call
an early election.[ID:nSGE6600LW] The news helped lift European
stocks, which were up 0.2 percent in morning trade, led by
mining shares such as Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) and Xstrata (XTA.L: ).

* Japan’s Nikkei stock average ended slightly higher after
a choppy session on Friday.

* Biotech shares will be in the spotlight. French drugmaker
Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA: ) is preparing an acquisition in the
United States that may be worth $20 billion or more, Bloomberg
reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. A
Sanofi-Aventis spokesman declined to comment.

* British power supply systems maker Chloride (CHLD.L: ) has
recommended a $1.5 billion takeover by U.S. conglomerate Emerson
Electric (EMR.N: ), bringing to an end a long-running bid battle.

* Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (LGF.N: ) said late on
Thursday that it has adopted a shareholder rights plan, in a
move to deter billionaire Carl Icahn’s hostile attempt to buy
the independent Hollywood studio.

* Shares of Wilshire Bancorp Inc (WIBC.O: ) fell 15 percent to
$7.28 in extended trading on Thursday after the company forecast
a second-quarter loss.

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Thursday as manufacturing and labor
market data heightened fears of a double-dip recession before
Friday’s key employment report.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dropped 41.49
points, or 0.42 percent, to 9,732.53. The Standard & Poor’s 500
Index (.SPX: ) shed 3.33 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,027.38. The
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) lost 7.88 points, or 0.37
percent, to 2,101.36.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)

U.S. stock index futures mixed ahead of payrolls