London pre-open: Futures pointing lower ahead of US non-farm payrolls

by | Aug 4, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks were seen starting the session slightly higher, even as investors waited on the release of the latest monthly non-farm payrolls report in the States.
Ahead of that, as of 0715 BST, FTSE 100 futures were adding 29.50 points to 7,538.0.

“The most important day of the month is here: the US NFP. This particular data set has the ability to not only dictate the trading tone for the day but also set the momentum for the rest of the month. Given the strong US ADP number, the bar is set high for today’s number to print a strong reading,” said Naeem Aslam, chief investment officer at Zaye Capital Markets.

“And the question for traders and investors is whether a strong number is going to be perceived as good news for the market players or if this number will make traders fear further rate hikes by the Fed, which is in the process of taming inflation.”

At 1330 BST, the U.S. Department of Labor was scheduled to publish the non-farm payrolls report for the month of July.

Consensus was for a 175,000 increase in payrolls, although some economists were anticipating a much larger increase.

Leading indicators for the U.S. jobs market had been mixed of later, with some data pointing to near-term strength even as other economic reports appeared to point to further weakness in the pipeline come autumn.

Capita in the red during 1H

Government contractor Capita posted a loss for the half-year, including taking a hit of up to £25m from a cyber attack on its computer systems earlier this year. The company made a loss before tax of £67.9m, compared with a profit of £0.1m due to business exits, non-core portfolio goodwill impairment and costs associated with the cyber incident. On an adjusted basis, Capita’s pre-tax profit increased by £8.4m to £33.1m. Turnover rose 3% to £1.47bn.

Advertising giant WPP on Friday cut its like-for-like growth forecast for the full year due as North America revenues fell in the second quarter. The company said it now expected growth of 1.5-3%, downgraded from a previous estimate of 3-5%, driven by lower spending from technology clients. Interim profit before tax fell more than halved to £204m from £419m a year ago. “Our performance in the first half has been resilient with Q2 growth accelerating in all regions except the USA, which was impacted in the second quarter by lower spending from technology clients and some delays in technology-related projects,” said chief executive Mark Read.

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