FTSE Makes Gains on US Jobs News
The news that US non-farm payrolls had missed the consensus level by almost 90,000 has helped to bolster the FTSE 100. By mid-afternoon the UK’s leading index was up by 37 points, as the poorer than expected performance allayed fears of a rate hike.
Tesco and Booker are expected to dominate the agenda next week, as Easter approaches. Tesco has been facing heavy pricing pressure, and it was hit with a big fine, and is also facing an uncertain economic outlook. Most in the city are expecting that the supermarket giant will publish an annual pre-tax profit of approximately £784 million, with revenues of £55.7 billion, next week.
The US markets could have reacted badly to the air strike on Syria, but the publication of March’s jobs figures helped to offset some of the concerns, by reducing fears of a fresh rate hike. The launch of 50 cruse missiles at a Syrian airbase believed to have been involved in the recent chemical weapons attack shocked the markets. Risk assets became a strong focal point on the addition of a new dimension of geopolitical risk, but equities are not yet showing signs of panic. Investors are thought to be taking solace in the possibility that Trump’s willingness to intervene could be a sign that he is not taking an excessively inward looking stance towards the broader geo-political climate. Even so, the non-farm and payroll data were instrumental in helping to shore up the markets.
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