FTSE 100 watch: Footsie extends gains after US jobs report

on Apr 4, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
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iNVEZZ.com, Friday, April 4: UK stocks have continued to trade higher after the US payrolls figures came in marginally weaker than forecast by analysts.

The FTSE 100 index has stayed in positive territory today finding support in easyJet (LON:EZJ) whose shares have soared on upbeat March passenger numbers.
**FTSE 100 up after US jobs numbers**
As of 14:08 BST, Britain’s blue-chip index had added 34.03 points to be 0.51 percent up at 6,683.17 points. The Footsie has gained 1.1 percent this week following last month’s 3.1 percent drop.

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The Bureau of Labour Statistics today reported that 192,000 new jobs were created in the US last month, marginally weaker than the 200,000 median forecast of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7 percent.
“This is a very good report,” Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc, told Bloomberg. “It looks like we’re back on track.”

CNBC quoted Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board, as saying that while “there was some catch up in hiring following the inclement weather this winter”, the underlying hiring trend was “encouraging”. Today’s number was slightly below February’s 197,000 gain, revised upward by 22,000.
The Telegraph today quoted Deutsche Bank analysts as reiterating their forecast that the FTSE 100 index would touch 7,500 by the end of the year.

**Footsie winners and losers**
Shares in easyJet have soared today with the low-cost airline unveiling upbeat passenger traffic figures for March. (easyJet share price: Passenger numbers rise in March) easyJet’s share price is currently 2.40 percent up at 1,834.05p.

“EasyJet’s one of my favourite stocks,” Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, told Reuters. “They’ve got very good pricing, they’ve managed to keep their costs down, and they’re increasing their average revenue per seat.”
Shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) have advanced with the British Airways parent also posting upbeat passenger numbers. IAG’s share price has added 1.99 percent to 445.10p so far today.
Pearson (LON:PSON) has also been among the biggest Footsie risers after analysts at Jefferies turned positive on the Financial Times owner with a ‘buy’ recommendation. Pearson’s share price has added 1.88 percent to 1,027.00p.
At the other end of the spectrum has been Tesco (LON:TSCO) whose shares have dropped after news emerged that the supermarket’s finance director Laurie McIlwee could step down next week, ahead of the release of Tesco’s full-year financial report. (Tesco share price: Finance director to leave ahead of full-year report) Tesco’s share price is currently 1.25 percent down at 288.05p.
Shares in Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS) have also lost ground after Goldman Sachs added the retailer to its ‘conviction-sell’ list ahead of the company’s fourth quarter trading update due out next week. Marks & Spencer’s share price has fallen 1.22 percent to 465.80p.
Vodafone Group’s (LON:VOD) shares have also posted a drop with Nomura downgrading its rating on the stock from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’. Vodafone’s share price is currently 1.07 percent down at 216.80p.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.74 percent up at 6,698.25 points as of 15:14 BST on April 4, 2014.**

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