Stocks & Shares Indices

FTSE 100 watch: Muted start ahead of US jobs report

The FTSE 100 is expected to start the last trading day of the week marginally lower, with investors staying on the sidelines ahead of a jobs report on the other side of the Atlantic. On the corporate front, British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) is set to be in focus amid prospects for a pilot strike at the British flag carrier.

Muted start ahead

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 is set to start trading 0.17 percent lower at 7,259 points. The blue-chip index is likely to trade lower despite an upbeat lead from the US where shares rose last night amid prospects for a meeting between Washington and Beijing next month.

“Even though expectations for a robust trade deal are low, with global growth continuing to deteriorate as trade tensions mount, investors are relieved just to see talks are back on,” Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell, said in a note, as quoted by CNBC. Asian shares have tracked the US higher this morning.

The FTSE 100 retreated in the previous session, shedding 40.09 points to end trading 0.55 percent lower at 7,271.17, pressured by shares going ex-dividend, along by a rise in the pound, with sterling responding positively to the latest political developments in the UK.

Friday’s calendar

Today’s corporate agenda includes the third estimate for the eurozone’s second-quarter gross domestic product. In the US, the highly-anticipated jobs report is scheduled to be released at 13:30 BST and IG reports that the world’s biggest economy is expected to have added 155,000 new jobs last month, down from the prior month’s 164,000. The unemployment rate meanwhile is expected to have held steady at 3.7 percent.

In FTSE 100 company news, The Times reports that IAG’s British Airways is facing the most damaging strike in its history, with nearly 1,600 flights at risk of being grounded next week. Berkeley Group (LON:BKG) meanwhile has posted a trading statement as it prepares to hold its annual general meeting.

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