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U.S. stock index futures edged higher Wednesday after data showed private sector jobs rose more than expected in November.

S&P 500 futures rose 14.4 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures jumped 123 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 25 points.

U.S. banks are expected to bounce from recent declines, with the Select Sector SPDR Financial ETFup 0.8 per cent in light trading.

The jobs numbers from payrolls processor ADP, showing U.S. private employers added a better-than-forecast 93,000 jobs in November, came after upbeat Chinese factory data lifted investor confidence about a global economic recovery. The official Chinese purchasing managers' index rose to a seven-month high of 55.2, demonstrated that one of the world's largest economic engines is in robust health.

The euro bounced back from 10-week lows as a three-day selling spree lost steam, and pressure on the euro zone's higher-yielding sovereign debt eased as some traders bet the European Central Bank (ECB) would step up its bond buying program.

The euro last traded at $1.3085 (U.S.), up 0.8 per cent on the day, compared with $1.3106 earlier. The Canadian dollar rose 0.02 cent to 98 cents (U.S.).

Gold climbed above $1,395 an ounce and hit record highs in euro and sterling terms amid safe-haven buying. Spot gold was bid at $1,395.35 an ounce.

Copper rose to its highest level in two weeks, buoyed by data out of top consumer China and a weaker U.S. dollar. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded at $8,499 a tonne.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 1.4 per cent at 1,081.64 points. Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 rose 1.2 to 1.5 per cent.

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