FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up ahead of US jobs data

Written by: Tsveta van Son
March 11, 2020

The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day ahead of a long weekend higher, with investors awaiting the US jobs data later in the day. HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) will be in focus today as it follows peer Lloyds (LON:LLOY) with its first-quarter update.

Footsie seen higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start trading 0.13 percent higher at 7,361 points. The Footsie is likely to shrug off a downbeat lead from the US where shares remained in the doldrums last night in the wake of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell comments that a rate cut might not be on the cards.

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“This sell-off is more an ongoing reaction to Powell and fading insurance cut anticipation,” said Adam Crisafulli, a JP Morgan managing director, commented, as quoted by CNBC. Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 shed 33.95 points to end trading 0.46 percent lower at 7,351.31 as investors continued to digest company releases, while the Bank of England kept rates unchanged.

“Another sobering Bank of England statement also added some gloom, despite policymakers’ attempt to portray Britain’s economy as straining at the leash of inflation,” Cityindex analyst Ken Odeluga said, as quoted by Reuters.

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Friday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic calendar starts with the UK services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for April, due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that the index is expected to have climbed to 50.9, from 48.9, moving into expansion territory. The eurozone’s flash inflation for April will be announced at 10:00 BST.

In the US, the non-farm payrolls are out at 13:30 BST, with IG reporting that the world’s biggest economy is expected to have added  180,000 new jobs, down from 196,000 a month earlier, while the unemployment rate is expected to have held steady at 3.8 percent. The nation’s non-manufacturing PMI for April will follow at 15:00 BST.

HSBC will report today, concluding the FTSE 100 banking reporting season. Other blue-chips set to post statements this morning include Smurfit Kappa (LON:SKG), and Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza owner InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:IHG).