FTSE 100 watch: Footsie builds on gains as US jobs report beats forecasts

on Feb 3, 2017

The FTSE 100 index has advanced in today’s session, extending gains after the latest US non-farm payrolls report showed that the world’s biggest economy had added more jobs than forecast last month. In individual stock news, ITV (LON:ITV) has been lifted by an upgrade at Investec.

As of 14:21 GMT, the Footsie had added 53.16 points to stand 0.74 percent higher at 7,193.91. The blue-chip index has extended its earlier gains after the Bureau for Labour Statistics reported that the US had created 227,000 new jobs last month, surpassing the 175,000 payrolls forecast of Reuters-polled economists. The nation’s unemployment rate meanwhile was little changed at 4.8 percent.
“There’s more slack in the labour market than the unemployment rate implies, but we’re continuing to make progress in absorbing that slack,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial, as quoted by Bloomberg.

The FTSE 100 index has found support in financials today, with President Donald Trump expected to announce a review of the Dodd-Frank reforms, designed to overhaul the financial industry in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
“Generally investor sentiment around the banks, especially with Donald Trump coming in, is starting to improve,” Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, told Reuters, adding that the fact that the UK banking sector had eased over the course of the week had brought it down to more attractive levels. Barclays (LON:BARC) is leading other financials higher, having added 3.14 percent to 228.30p.

In individual Footsie risers, ITV’s share price has climbed 2.78 percent to 207.10p after analysts at Investec lifted their stance on the UK broadcaster from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’.
“While we remain concerned over long-term TV prospects, near-term sentiment is unusually gloomy post a tougher FY16 and Brexit/domestic fears,” Investec analyst Steve Liechti said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. “These negatives look increasingly priced in, in our view, with recent better/less bad trade press comment on TV advertising.”
**The FTSE 100 was 0.68 percent up at 7,189.49 points as of 14:46 GMT on Friday, 03 February 2017.**

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