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Europe: BNP Paribas helps European shares rise before US jobs data


[MILAN] European shares opened slightly higher on Friday although investors remained cautious before a key US jobs report that could provide clues on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy outlook.

By 0815 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.3 per cent at 1,297.69 points.

BNP Paribas was among the top gainers, up 4 per cent, after France's biggest bank presented plans to cut investment banking costs in a bid to bolster profitability and said it would quit some activities to fuel growth.

But ArcelorMittal fell 6 per cent after the world's largest steelmaker unveiled plans to raise US$3 billion in fresh capital in a bid to reduce debt in the face of weak steel and mining sectors.

Almost all sectors were trading in positive territory except for miners, which on Thursday staged their biggest one-day gain since Sept 2011, and utilities.