FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as US labour market suffers contraction

easyJet shares subdued even as airline flags profit at top end of range

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as US labour market suffers contraction

The UK benchmark index has been steady in today’s session, staying little changed as investors digested the jobs report in the US, which showed that the country’s labour market had experienced its first contraction in seven years last month due to the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.  easyJet (LON:EZJ) has been one of today’s most notable fallers despite forecasting that its full-year profits will come in at the upper end of its guidance. 

As of 14:52 BST, the FTSE 100 had added 9.99 points to stand 0.13 percent higher at 7,517.98. The index has been little changed after the US Bureau for Labour Statistics reported that the US had lost 33,000 jobs last month, largely on account of the two hurricanes hitting the country, marking the labour market’s first contraction in seven years. The unemployment rate meanwhile declined to 4.2 percent.

“Everyone knew the report would be confusing because of the distortions from [hurricanes] Harvey and Irma,” said Richard Piccirillo, managing director at PGIM Fixed Income, as quoted by CNBC. “But despite the distortions, average hourly earnings went down and unemployment went down.”

In individual stock news, easyJet has lost ground even as it posted an upbeat trading update. The company, however, also unveiled that its profits had suffered a currency hit due to sterling’s drop against the US dollar in the wake of the Brexit vote.

“Revenue trends are improving, but pricing remains under pressure,” analysts at Liberum said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. easyJet’s shares are currently changing hands 2.96 percent lower at 1,246.00p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.08 percent up at 7,514.26 points as of 15:00 BST on Friday, 06 October 2017.

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