UK & US

FTSE 100 expected to slide lower ahead of UK jobs data

The FTSE 100 was tipped to slide lower on another icy morning on Tuesday, taking the lead from an Asian session that was bathed in red and ahead of Wall Street reopening after a long weekend.

Spread betters were predicting Londons big caps would fall around 41 points to 7,610, extending the 23-point loss from the start of the week.

Asian losses were led by the Hang Seng, down 2.5%, after credit agency Moody's downgraded Hong Kong's credit rating overnight, while in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 was down 0.9% after the Bank of Japan kept policy unchanged

Stocks will begin trading on Wall Street again later after the Martin Luther King Day holiday, when traders will be taking in news that the US and France have called a trade pact, and a listening out for a speech from President Trump from Davos.

Back in the UK, 9.30am will see the release of UK labour market data, which comes at a time when most domestic macro info is being devoured for the clues it will tell us about whether the Bank of England will trim interest rates next week.

The market expects an unchanged unemployment rate of 3.8%, with wage growth excluding bonuses to moderate to 3.4% from 3.5% in October.

The UK jobs data, as its main focus is November's unemployment and wage growth, is not likely to move markets as much as the post-election flash PMI report that is due at the end of the week.

Coming up before that will be trading updates from easyJet, Dixons Carphone and SSE, plus interims from IG Group and Joules.

Freshly returned to the FTSE 100 index, easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) is putting out a first-quarter trading statement that will be up against numbers from a year ago that should be easy to beat as there were more than 400 flights cancelled that December due to the mysterious drone incident at Gatwick airport.

Elsewhere, the post-Christmas retail updates continue to flow, with electronics specialist Dixons Carphone PLC (LON:DC.) also in the headlines over the weekend that boss Alex Baldock is still struggling with a corporate reboot two years into the job and may try and prop things up by merging with German electricals rival Ceconomy.

Net debt is an issue, having swelled 83% to £1.5bn in the six months to 26 October, while losses before tax shrank 80% to £86mln.

At posh welly seller Joules Group PLC (LON:JOUL), the shares have been slumming it at their lowest level in four and a half year after a post-Christmas stocking warning.

Expectations for the year were downgraded after a drop in festive online sales due to available stock not matching demand.

Interim numbers, however, cover the six months to 24 November when Joules had been one of the top performers on Black Friday but should be fairly flat overall, as flagged in December.

Significant events expected on TueRead More – Source

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