FTSE 100 to open little changed ahead of US jobs data

The Footsie is set to do its old car on a frosty morning thing today, refusing to move, despite a strong showing overnight by US stocks.

Spread betting quotes indicate the FTSE 100, which ended yesterday barely changed, will carry on that theme and open little changed at 6,504.

US non-farm payrolls for January are scheduled for release at 1.30pm, which may have something to do with traders’ reticence to do something or get off the pot.

“Today’s January payroll numbers are a tough call, in large part because our usual guide during the pandemic—the daily Homebase small business employment numbers—appears unable to capture the huge seasonal drop in employment when the holidays end,” said Ian Shepherdson.

“For January, the data appear to point to little change in the official measure but the seasonal factor for January services employment is huge and positive; last year, it added exactly 1,500K to the unadjusted number. If that were to repeat in January this year, the seasonally adjusted headline payroll print likely would be north of 1.6M, allowing for further gains in manufacturing, construction and elsewhere. The headline consensus is only 100K.

“Unfortunately, we can’t bring ourselves to take this approach very seriously, not least because ADP’s estimate for private payrolls was only 174K,” he added.

“We look for 200K, but brace for upside,” is Shepherdson’s advice.

US markets had a thunderously good day yesterday on hopes that president Biden’s stimulus package would pass through the US Senate relatively little changed.

“The prospect of a juicy wave of government spending and borrowing sent longer yields higher, boosting the US Dollar, but also lifted US equities, with Wall Street’s rally resuming,” noted Jeffrey Halley.

The Dow Jones jumped 332 points to 31,056 while the S&P 500 surged 42 points to 3,872.

In Asia, the mood is equally upbeat with Japan’s Nikkei 225 421 points to the good at 28,763 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index 266 points firmer at 29,380.

As for UK corporate announcements, FTSE 250 insurer Beazley PLC is about as exciting as it gets if the schedule is to be believed.

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