FTSE a touch higher at the end of a grim week

The FTSE seems set to close just off the weekly lows as it finds reasons to nudge slightly higher. Changes at the helm of BP where the chief executive will retire in March were greeted with a modest uptick in the share price. With the pound a touch stronger against the dollar most other gainers are the UK-consumer focused companies like Experian and Rightmove.

Asian markets were in a wait-and-see mode ahead of US non-farm payroll and September unemployment data later today with flows already reduced as China remains closed for National Day celebrations. China will continue the celebrations and market closures into next week and the Shanghai stock exchange will remain closed on Monday.

Sterling, dollar look to US jobless data later Friday

This week’s US factory data pressed the panic button on US stock markets and Friday’s job figures will be key for the next trade direction. According to Richard Clarida, the second-in-command at the Federal Reserve, the probability of a recession is not high if the Fed can set the right interest rate policy. The selloff earlier this week shows how twitchy the markets are over any slowdown in US growth. For the moment the dollar is weaker again against most majors, including the pound.

Yesterday’s signs of a recovery after the PM presented his latest Brexit plan were quickly doused with cold water by skeptical comments from the EU negotiators. Still, the pound is marginally higher on the week, if for no other reason on hopes that the no-deal option will remain off the table.


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