- Non-farm payrolls estimated at 180,000
- China services PMI falls to 50.9
- Tate & Lyle upgraded by JPMorgan to 'overweight'
- Shires stops development of depression drug
techMARK 2,781.99 +0.10%
FTSE 100 6,561.78 +0.05%
FTSE 250 15,827.61 +0.24%
The FTSE 100 was broadly flat on Friday morning with trading rangebound ahead of the highly-anticipated US jobs report due out later this afternoon.
Yet more disappointing data from China was also helping to cap upside on markets this morning.
London's benchmark index was also pausing for breath following an impressive 1.55% jump on Thursday after European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said that policymakers stand "ready and willing to act" despite leaving interest rates unchanged at this month's meeting.
The FTSE 100 was trading at around 6,562 early on, just 0.05% higher than Thursday's closing price.
US markets rose strongly last night after some better-than-expected jobless claims data with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500
registering their best gains in seven weeks.
As for today, investors will be awaiting the US Labor Department's official non-farm payroll data due out at 13:30, which is expected to show that non-farm payrolls rose to 180,000 in January from just 74,000 in December.
In China overnight, it was revealed that the HSBC/Markit service-sector purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell from 50.9 to 50.7 in January. While still showing an expansion - reflected in any number above 50 - the slight fall represents a slowdown in growth to the lowest level in two and a half years.
Tate & Lyle jumps after upgrade, Shire falls
Sugar and sweeteners firm Tate & Lyle was among the best performers this morning after JPMorgan Cazenove lifted its rating on the stock from 'underweight' to 'overweight'. The bank said that group earnings have been held back recently by investment in the speciality food ingredients division "but we believe this is now bearing fruit".
Heading the other way was Shire after saying it will no longer pursue the development of Vyvanse as a clinical trial of the drug for the treatment of major depressive disorder failed to meet objectives.
Pharmaceuticals peer AstraZeneca was in demand as it attempted to rebound after falling yesterday following its 2013 results. The company said that annual revenues fell 6% as it was hurt by competition from generic brands.
In contrast, telecoms giant Vodafone was lower as the stock pulled back from a decent rise the day before after third-quarter revenues declined by less than expected.
Oil stocks including Tullow and Shell were trading lower early on as crude prices declined.
Meanwhile, mining stocks were performing well with Antofagasta, Fresnillo, Randgold and Glencore Xstrata making moderate gains.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 783.50p +2.96%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 414.20p +1.57%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,359.00p +1.42%
Meggitt (MGGT) 510.50p +1.19%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,888.00p +1.19%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 884.50p +1.03%
Fresnillo (FRES) 790.50p +1.02%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,380.00p +1.01%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 325.60p +0.96%
TUI Travel (TT.) 427.70p +0.92%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,088.00p -1.69%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,240.00p -1.23%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 852.00p -1.22%
BG Group (BG.) 1,076.50p -0.92%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,598.00p -0.81%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 696.50p -0.71%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,091.00p -0.62%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 222.75p -0.51%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,337.00p -0.51%
CRH (CRH) 1,590.00p -0.50%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 863.00p +4.92%
Rotork (ROR) 2,421.00p +2.93%
Perform Group (PER) 241.40p +2.72%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,347.00p +2.49%
Evraz (EVR) 82.60p +2.35%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 160.30p +2.10%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 488.50p +1.77%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,567.00p +1.75%
Grainger (GRI) 228.80p +1.69%
Alent (ALNT) 318.50p +1.59%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 180.30p -2.59%
Betfair Group (BET) 1,024.00p -1.92%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 385.80p -1.58%
Diploma (DPLM) 684.00p -1.30%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 4,778.00p -1.08%
Computacenter (CCC) 649.50p -1.07%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 316.60p -1.06%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,118.00p -0.89%
Marston's (MARS) 145.50p -0.89%
Workspace Group (WKP) 556.00p -0.89%