At the open the FTSE took its cue from the US markets this morning where the Dow Jones is firmly marching towards the 29,000 line and other indexes are also hitting record levels. If the DJIA does close above 29,000 Friday it would mean that it took just over a month for index to gain 1,000 points, one of the fastest runs in the last few years.
The US jobs report Friday is expected to echo the evidence of growth in the US economy and although the pace of hiring may have slowed down slightly in December job creation is likely to have stayed strong, reflecting economic expansion.
However, after a brief spike London shares started sliding, led by retailers and banks, still affected by yesterday’s weak December sales numbers. Airlines are among the top gainers after Ryanair announced its decision to raise its profit guidance because of last-minute Christmas booking. A pullback in oil prices is also helping boost IAG and easyJet.
Sterling recovers from Carney comments
The sterling selloff prompted by dovish comments from the Bank of England’s outgoing governor Mark Carney seems to have bottomed out and the currency is gaining ground again against the dollar and the euro this morning. The latest UK economic indicators published this week are showing that business and retail confidence is on the rise since the December elections which will go some way towards buffering the remaining uncertainty about UK trade deals and the post-Brexit reality.