FTSE 100 preview: Index seen subdued ahead of US jobs report

on Jan 5, 2018

The UK benchmark index looks set to open marginally lower this morning, shrugging off upbeat leads from the US and Asia, with investors awaiting the first non-farm payrolls report for the year. Unilever (LON:ULVR) will be in focus today amid plans to close the Norwich factory where Colman’s Mustard has been made for 160 years.

Downbeat start ahead

According to IG’s opening calls, the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.10 percent lower at 7,688 points. The blue-chip index looks set to shrug off an upbeat lead from the US where the Dow Jones index closed above 25,000 points, following a strong ADP National Employment Report, which precedes the non-farm payrolls data later today.  

“The Dow hitting 25,000 was a pretty wild idea even a year ago. And while it’s symbolically important, the real story is never just a number. It's the underlying strength that is pushing markets this high,” said Steve Claussen, vice president of trader strategy at E-Trade, as quoted by CNBC. Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher this morning.

At home, the Footsie added 24.77 points to end the session 0.32 percent higher at 7,695.88, finding support in stronger oil. The index, however, lagged behind European peers, pressured by declines in retailers and property stocks.

Friday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic calendar includes the flash eurozone inflation data, due out at 10:00 GMT. On the other side of the Atlantic, the first US jobs report for the year is scheduled to be released at 13:30 GMT and IG reports that payrolls are expected to have fallen to 189,000 last month, from 221,000 in November. On the corporate front, Sky News reports that Unilever is closing down its Colman’s Mustard factory in Norwich, with the move affecting 113 jobs.