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The Trader: Stocks firm ahead of jobs report, waiting on OPEC

Shares in London have moved higher again
The Trader: Stocks firm ahead of jobs report, waiting on OPEC

 

  • Eyes on US jobs numbers, but sentiment remains positive
  • Oil price rises as OPEC fails to reach agreement

European stocks rallied again in early trade after yet another record high for Wall Street as investors look ahead to today’s big jobs report from the US. The FTSE 100 rose above 7,150 for its best since 18 June and close to the post-pandemic peak set a few days before at 7,189.63. The DAX was up 0.4 per cent in early trade to 15,666. Travel & leisure, basic resources and tech lead the way higher on the Euro Stoxx 600 this morning, whilst banks and retail are down. Earlier saw the S&P 500 notch a 6th straight record close, finishing above 4,300 for the first time at 4,319.94 with all sectors in the green, led by a 1.6 per cent pop for energy stocks on higher oil prices. 

All eyes today turn to the US jobs report, the monthly nonfarm payrolls. Initial jobless claims declined to 364,000 last week, data yesterday showed, the lowest level since the pandemic started, but there are still more than 11m Americans receiving pandemic-related benefits. Today’s NFP is expected to print around 700k, but as ever the range of estimates is quite wide. That would imply an improvement from May’s 559,000, while the unemployment rate is expected to decline to 5.6 per cent from 5.8 per cent. Whilst we know the Fed has signalled it’s not ignorant to inflation risks, we also know that the labour market is a key factor in determining the likely timing and pace of tightening when it does happen. Since the Fed’s last meeting, which the market took as a sign of more hawkishness (from a very dovish base), the equation for markets has changed slightly. US 10-year yields trade around 1.46% ahead of the report, whilst US equity index futures are mildly higher. 

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