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FTSE 100 Stronger Following Poor US Jobs Data

Thu, 24th May 2018

As we head into the new month, some of the first data to surface is the US non-farm payroll report. The data showed that the US non-farm payrolls grew by 164,000 during the month of April, and unemployment fell to 3.9 percent.

The FTSE 100 ended the week with a strong performance, gaining 65 points during the last day of trading. One of the top performers was Pearson PLC, whose first-quarter results were better than expected. The education publisher reported a one percent increase in underlying revenue for the quarter, a sign that its recent turnaround efforts are starting to pay off. Another strong performer was Anglo African Agriculture, who gained 45%, after it said that it knew of no reason for its recent fall in share price.

In the run up to the bank holiday weekend, the FTSE 100 was looking strong. UK investors shrugged off the US jobs data. The picture was not as strong elsewhere, however, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reflecting the jobs data and wage figures - which, while positive, were not as strong as the markets had hopd for. Naeem Aslam, an analyst for Think Markets, said that the wage number participation was not impressive, and that the figures showed that Trumps policies were not as effective as perhaps had been promised.

Expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates are fading. Recent events suggest that an interest rate hike is unlikely to happen this quarter, as GDP growth has started to slow down.

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