FTSE 100 to open higher ahead of US jobs report

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UK equities are set to add to yesterday’s modest gains ahead of today’s US jobs release for December.

Spread betting quotes point to the FTSE 100 opening around 50 points higher at 6,907.

Yesterday, President Trump – or someone purporting to be him – acknowledged that he had lost the election and that a new administration would take over on January 20.

All it took was for social media companies to take his accounts away from him.

“With the Democrat clean sweep confirmed, financial markets hitched themselves onto the last stimulus train out of town overnight, helped along by a contrite (by his standards) President Trump promising an orderly transition of power. Equity markets powered higher, oil gained, and the US Dollar debasement conspiracy theorists pumped Bitcoin to a new high above $40,000.00 per digital coin,” summarised Jeffrey Halley as OANDA.

Last night, the Dow Jones industrial average rose above 31,000, closing at 31,041, up 212 points.

The index has recently added 1,000 points in record time – just 29 trading days.

The S&P 500 hardened 56 points to 3,804 and the Nasdaq Composite put on 327 points at 13,067.

Asian markets have picked up the baton with Japan’s Nikkei 225 594 points to the good at 28,085 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 210 points firmer at 27,759.

Trading in London could possibly be subdued until the US jobs data is out.

“Economists are expecting the headline reading for December to be 71,000, which would be a huge fall from the 245,000 registered in the previous report. In November, the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% – the lowest reading since March – but the consensus estimate for December is 6.8%. Average earnings are tipped to hold steady at 4.4%,” reported CMC’s David Madden.

“Given the upheaval in the labour market, the participation rate has been given extra attention. The metric fell from 61.7% in October to 61.5% in November and that could be seen as a sign that there is falling confidence in the jobs market. During economic downturns, some people who are out of work get so feed up the weak labour market they stop searching, and that contributes to a falling participation rate,” Madden explained.

Closer to home, the Halifax house price index report will be revealed at 8.30am and economists are expecting the index to have risen 0.5% month-on-month, after rising 1.2% in November.

The end of the first full week of 2021 brings updates from retailer Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS), housebuilder Barratt Developments PLC (LON:BDEV).

Around the markets

  • Sterling: US$1.3568, up 0.04 cents
  • Gold: US$1,908.70 an ounce, down US$4.90
  • Oil: US$54.66 a barrel, up 28 cents
  • Bitcoin: US$38,279, down US$1,317

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