A rather unenlightening UK jobs report left the markets chugging along at a subdued pace this Wednesday morning.
Following the explosive reaction to yesterday’s inflation data the jobs update faced a tough task in producing something as noteworthy. Alas it wasn’t up to, well, the job, with September’s figures lacking any real change. The unemployment rate remained at 4.9%, with the employment rate increasing to a 45 year peak of 74.5% (it might be best not to look too hard at the quality of those jobs added). The claimant count change only grew by 700, around a fifth of what was forecast, though the previous month’s figure did nearly triple once revised. Wage growth including bonuses, meanwhile, came in as expected at 2.3%, with August’s number topped up to 2.4% – arguably not enough to stave off a tight squeeze as inflation continues to rise, however.
Neither FTSE nor the pound found much to react to in this report. This left the UK index around 10 points under 7000, while sterling sat flat against the dollar a smidge below 1.23 but lost 0.2% against the euro.
Looking to the US open and the Dow Jones is continuing to hover around the 18150 mark, the futures pointing to a mild 15 points loss after the bell. There isn’t much data-wise to provoke any movement; all that is on offer are the latest building permits and housing starts readings. There is, however, a decent selection of companies reporting during the day, including Halliburton, Morgan Stanley and eBay.