(Alliance News) – Stocks in London were mixed at the open on Friday ahead of the release of a key indicator of the economic health of the United States, the Nonfarm Payrolls report, which many expect to influence the extent of the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike at its next meeting this month.
“Nervous Fed watchers are hoping the non-farm number will be slightly below consensus to bolster the case for moderating what has been a series of aggressive rate hikes so far. , a stronger than expected reading, while positive for the economy, would be detrimental for this case in another example of good news being bad news for investors,” said Richard Hunter of Investor Interactive.
The US jobs report for November will be released at 13:30 GMT. The consensus, quoted by FXStreet, expects non-farm payroll employment to increase by 200,000.
The FTSE 100 index opened down 35.44 points, or 0.5%, at 7,523.05. The FTSE 250 rose 16.46 points, or 0.1%, to 19,425.88. AIM All-Share rose 2.35 points, or 0.3%, to 852.91.
The Cboe UK 100 was down 0.5% at 751.96, the Cboe UK 250 was up 0.4% at 16,793.12 and the Cboe Small Companies was down 0.4% at 13,196.54.
The dollar was weaker ahead of the US jobs data and after a bearish reading for its manufacturing sector on Thursday.
The S&P Global US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to 47.7 points in November from 50.4 in October. Falling below 50.0 unchanged, this shows that the sector is in contraction. However, the reading was largely in line with a flash estimate of 47.6.
In the wake of the negative PMI reading, Wall Street ended lower on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.6%, the S&P 500 down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0. .1%.
The euro stood at $1.0539 shortly after European stocks opened on Friday morning, up from $1.0487 on Thursday evening. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at 133.96 JPY, down sharply from 135.93 JPY.
The pound was quoted at $1.2296 early Friday in London, higher than $1.2266 at the London stock close on Thursday.
UK retail footfall suffered a steeper decline in November, figures showed on Friday, with rail strikes adding to a wall of concern for the sector, which is hoping for a festive boost this month .
The latest British Retail Consortium-Sensormatic IQ monitor showed retail footfall fell 13% from pre-virus levels last month, worse than the three-month average drop of just under 12%.
“Traffic stumbled further as the cost of living crisis deterred some consumers from going to the stores in November. Others chose to stay home due to the dispersal of the rail strikes, or chose the Cup of the world rather than shopping visits. Many major cities have been hit particularly hard, with Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester all seeing the biggest drops in footfall since January,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.
In London, Associated British Foods rose 2.9% after Goldman Sachs lifted the owner of Primark from “neutral” to “sell”, with a price target of 1,900 pence.
GSK fell 0.6% despite news that the European Medicines Agency has accepted a marketing authorization application for momelotinib, its treatment for myelofibrosis, a rare blood cancer.
The pharmaceutical company also announced positive results from a trial of Jemperli with standard chemotherapy followed by Jemperli, compared with chemotherapy plus placebo, in adults with advanced or recurrent primary endometrial cancer.
In the FTSE 250, AJ Bell jumped 7.5% as Jefferies raised the investment platform to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’.
On Thursday, the company again increased its annual payout as it reported improved earnings despite lower prices and investment in new offerings.
Asos fell 1.4% after IT infrastructure company Softcat announced it had appointed Kathryn Mecklenburgh as chief financial officer.
Mecklenburgh is currently interim chief financial officer at fast fashion retailer Asos, but will join Softcat “no later than mid-June.”
Softcat shares rose 0.5%.
Elsewhere in London, Bank of Ireland rose 0.3% after welcoming the Irish finance minister’s approval of its acquisition of the assets and liabilities of KBC Bank Ireland.
The Minister’s approval is the last required for the acquisition.
Last April, Bank of Ireland announced that it had entered into talks to buy the Irish unit of the KBC group, as the Belgian bank sought to leave the country. In May, the bank received clearance from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for the acquisition.
Ryanair and Wizz Air were down 1.5% and 0.7% respectively, although both airlines said they carried more passengers in November than in pre-pandemic November three years ago.
Ryanair carried 11.2 million passengers in the past month, up 9.8% from 10.2 million a year ago and 2.8% from 10.9 million in November 2019 .
Wizz Air carried 3.7 million passengers in November, up 70% from 2.2 million a year ago and 24% from 3.0 million in November 2019.
In Europe on Thursday morning, the CAC 40 index in Paris fell by 0.4%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt fell by 0.1%.
Shares in Asia closed lower on Friday after a week dominated by civil unrest and the prospect of an easing of Covid restrictions in China.
The Shanghai Composite closed down 0.3% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed down 0.3% – although the index ended the week up 9.9%.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo ended down 1.6% and the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.7%.
Cities across China have further rolled back Covid restrictions, easing testing and quarantine rules following nationwide protests calling for an end to lockdowns and greater political freedoms.
From Friday, the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu will no longer require a recent negative test result to enter public places or ride the subway, only requiring a green health code confirming that they do not have not traveled to a “high risk” area.
In Beijing, health authorities on Thursday called on hospitals not to deny treatment to people without a negative PCR test carried out within 48 hours.
Many other cities hit by virus outbreaks are allowing restaurants, malls and even schools to reopen, a clear departure from previous strict lockdown rules.
Gold was priced at $1,802.46 an ounce early Friday, sharply higher than $1,796.43 late Thursday. Brent oil was quoted at $86.76 a barrel, down from $88.89.
EU member states are close to agreeing a price cap of $60 a barrel for Russian oil, with only Poland remaining to give the final nod.
Europe will begin enforcing an embargo on shipments of Russian crude from Monday, so the price cap will apply to oil exported by sea from Moscow to ports around the world.
By Heather Rydings; [email protected]
Copyright 2022 Alliance News Limited. All rights reserved.