FTSE 100 preview: Muted start on the cards ahead of US jobs report

on Jan 6, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to open marginally lower this morning ahead of the US non-farm payrolls report. Barclays (LON:BARC) will be in focus on the corporate front today with the Serious Fraud Office questioning the head of the group’s Japanese unit in relation to a Libor probe.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the day 0.01 percent lower at 7,195 points. Investors are likely to stay on the sidelines ahead of the highly-anticipated non-farm payrolls report on the other side of the Atlantic later during the day. The blue-chip index is also likely to take cues from the US, where stocks mostly retreated last night amid concerns related to Donald Trump’s presidency.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty,” said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, as quoted by CNBC. “We haven’t had the inauguration, let alone details about his policies.” Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning.
The Footsie closed little changed yesterday, adding 5.57 points to end the session 0.08 percent higher at 7,195.31. Persimmon (LON:PSN) was the biggest blue-chip riser in percentage terms, following a positive update, ending the session 7.18 percent higher at 1,940.00p.

This morning’s releases include eurozone business confidence data for December and retail sales numbers for November, due out at 10:00 GMT. In the US, the non-farm payrolls for December are scheduled to be released at 13:30 GMT. IG reports that payrolls are expected to have climbed by 175,000 last month, from 178,000 in November, while the unemployment rate is forecast to have inched to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent.
On the corporate front, easyJet (LON:EZJ) is scheduled to post its December traffic statistics. In other news, the Financial Times reports that the head of Barclays’ Japanese unit is one of three current and former senior managers at the bank to be interviewed as part of a fresh criminal investigation into the rigging of the Libor benchmark rate.

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