The FTSE was fairly flat in early trading this Friday morning with Berkeley Group the standout performer following a strong performance over the first six months.
On the back of positive interim earnings and an upgrade of its 2 and 5 year forecasts, Berkeley Group shares rose 8.5% this morning, providing a welcome boost to the entire Housebuilding sector with the likes of Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments, Persimmon and Hammerson all seeing significant rises.
Having rallied overnight on rumours that agreement had been reach between the UK and the EU on the Irish border issue, the Pound fell back on confirmation this morning that negotiations can finally move on.
Spreadex analyst, Connor Campbell noted “After a week of Brexit blunders, news that the UK and EU have made ‘sufficient progress’ in their phase one negotiations – crucially including a DUP-pleasing deal to avoid a hard Irish border but with no ‘special status’ for Northern Ireland”
It’s Non-Farm Payrolls today which means the Dollar and the US major indexes will be in focus for investors as they look for clues as to US monetary policy in 2018. ADS Securities analyst, Konstantinos Anthis commented “Today’s report will act as a useful precursor for investors trying to gauge the approach of the Fed next year. But, at the same time the dollar’s short term price action will also depend on the upcoming figures.”
“US equity markets closed higher across the board on Thursday as the Tech sector extended its rebound from lows and the government agreed an extension to its debt ceiling.” suggested Accendo Markets analyst, Mike van Dulken. “This rebound helped the Nasdaq to outperform, while both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed 0.3% as large-cap names led stocks higher on the former, while the Tech sector led the latter.”