1630 Close: The FTSE 100 finished up 53.55 points at 6,551.99 following a better-than-expected US jobs report. Concerns that the positive figures would prompt the Federal Reserve to begin reducing monetary stimulus were outweighed by an improved outlook for the economy. In the UK, data included a report from Halifax which showed UK house prices rose 1.1 per cent November compared to the previous month and were up by 7.7 per cent on the year. It provided a lift to housing stocks including Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon. Meanwhile, another report revealed UK inflation expectations over the next 12 months increased to 3.6 per cent in November.
1535: John Lonski, chief capital markets economist at Moody's Analytics, says that: "At a minimum, they will strongly hint that a taper will be announced at the January 2014 meeting" . Barclays Research still expects tapering to begin come March; they believe some on the FOMC will want to see greater firmness in inflation before moving on tapering. As well, they think the Fed "[will] view declines in the unemployment rate as overstating the amount of improvement in labor markets."
1455: The University of Michigan´s preliminary confidence index for the month of December rose to 82.5 from 75.1 in the month before (consensus: 76). FTSE 100 up 55 to 6,553.
1435: While one is used to often dismissing drops in the unemployment rate
as a result of a decrease in the labour force participation rate, on this ocassion such logic would have been seriously flawed. The labour force participation rate actually rose by two tenths of a percentage point, to 63 per cent, even while the unemployment rate dropped very sharply. The reason is the 818,000 rise seen in the number of those employed. FTSE 100 up 46 to 6,544.
1434: "The 203,000 increase in November's non-farm payrolls, along with the drop in the unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7.0 per cent, gives the Fed all the evidence it needs to begin tapering its asset purchases at the next FOMC meeting later this month," Capital Economics says. Wall Street is moving clearly higher in reaction to the figures. FTSE 100 up 49 to 6,547.
1330: US non-farm payrolls expanded by 203,000 in November (consensus: 185,000). The unemployment rate dropped to 7 per cent from 7.3 per cent in the month before (consensus: 7.2 per cent).
1243: Numis has upgraded AZ Electronics´ target price to 414p from 270p while lifting its recommendation to 'Hold from ´Reduce.´ The broker attaches a 25 per cent probability to a 10 per cent higher bid from another rival now surfacing. FTSE 100 up 18 to 6,516.
1228: Shares in oil-field services firm Petrofac are bouncing back after having hit a two-year low yesterday on rumours that management was going to reduce its long-term earnings forecasts at yesterday´s Investors´ Day, explains Brenda Kelly from IG.
1227: Shell is making waves this afternoon after ditching plans to build a 20bn dollar
gas-to-liquids plant in the US, saying it was "not a viable option".
1215:German factory orders declined 2.2 per cent in October from September when they rose a revised 3.1 per cent, according to the Economy Ministry in Berlin. Economists had pencilled in a drop of one per cent. The report signals a slump in Europe's largest economy at time when the bloc is experiencing a weak recovery.
1115: Marks&Spencer is drifting lower after Credit Suisse reiterated its underweight recommendation on the High Street retailer along with its 12-month price target of 425p.
0945: Domino´s Pizza is leading fallers on the FTSE 250. Its shares
are now off by five per cent, taking the year-to-date loss to just over nine per cent on a three-year basis (but its shares have still risen by 191 per cent over five years). Some econometric studies (a bit dated admittedly) carried out before the Great financial crisis used to show that stocks in the bottom decile in performance over a three-year period tended to outperform in the followng three-year period. Something to keep in mind perhaps.
0930: Inflation expectations over the next twelve months rose to 3.6 per cent in the UK during the month of November, according to the latest survey from the Bank of England/GfK NOP. Also worth pointing out, consumers believed inflation was significantly higher than officially reported. Nevertheless, the survey was caried out during the week between November 7th to the 16th, right after many energy companies had announced significant rises in their prices, Dr. Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight pointed out.
0927: Shares of AG Barr are managing to hold the line for now at their 200-day (simple) moving average.
0842: London equities have begun the session moving slightly higher despite the small drop seen overnight on Wall Street and in many Asian indices. That comes ahead of this afternoon´s release of the latest US non-farm payrolls report, which may set the tone for global capital markets for the rest of the month. Worth pointing out, there was positive news-flow yesterday evening regarding the prospects for a budget agreement on Capitol Hill. Leading the move higher are shares in the London Stock Exchange after analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch upped their view on the financial exchange operator to 'buy,' from 'hold.' BP was added to the same broker´ most preffered oils list. The Bank of England will publish its latest quarterly inflation attitudes survey at 9:30 FTSE 100 up 20 to 6,519.