Markets: FTSE boosted as focus shifts to US jobs rebound

Brexit-related jitters persist, not least after a slump in consumer confidence

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Updated: 9.19am BST

  • Investors focus today has shifted from the UK to the US, where a critical US jobs report is due to be released later today
  • A private sector survey earlier this week suggested a big rise in employment, which if it was confirmed would add to a slew of recent positive data
  • Strong economic performance across the pond has helped to ease Brexit-related jitters
  • But trading the UK and across Europe could be choppy as sentiment remains skittish, not least since a poll revealed the biggest fall in Briton's consumer confidence in 20 years
  • The FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent to 6,544 in early trading. It was being led higher by a relief rally in some stocks that have been hammered since the referendum result
  • Housebuilers Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Persimmon were the top three after the first hour, with rises in excess of 2.5 per cent
  • The more domestically-focused FTSE 250 was up 0.8 per cent to 16,031. It was still some eight per cent below its peak ahead of the Brexit vote
  • Sterling is also more firm this morning, after hitting a new 31-year earlier this week. But it remains below $1.30 and analysts are still bearish on its prospects in the near future
  • Across Europe the German Dax wass up 0.7 per cent and the French Cac 40 by 0.3 per cent. The wider FTSE Euroefirst 300 was advancing 0.2 per cent
  • Wall Street was essentially flat yesterday ahead of the jobs report and influenced by a slumping oil price. Futures indicate the S&P 500 will be essentially unmoved later, too - but the jobs data will change that one way or another
  • BRent crude slumped back below $47 a barrel on a surprise rise in US reserves. Gold remains mostly unchanged since yesterday, at around $1,355 an ounce

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