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A flat finish on Wall Street yesterday ended a 3-day run of losses onto which Asian investors have latched for a positive end to their trading week ahead of a key US jobs report that could seal the deal on a Fed rate hike next week.

Accendo markets Analyst, Mike Van Dulken commented – “FTSE sentiment may be impacted by BT’s agreement to separate its Openreach network to meet competition concerns. Watch the likes of BT, VOD and SKY. After much excitement from the insurance sector this week, esure 2016 earnings growth allows it pay a further special dividend. Hikma Pharmaceuticals has launched a new depression drug. Precious metals Miners like Fresnillo and Randgold will likely be impacted by Gold and Silver below $1200 and $17, respectively.

US indices closed a handful of points above zero yesterday, breaking its 3-day losing streak, as investors prepared for today’s crucial US Jobs Report while crude oil prices stabilised following a 7% decline. A recovery within the healthcare sector following Tuesday’s Trump tweet-inspired sell off saw the S&P 500 gain just shy of two points, while Johnson & Johnson helped the Dow Jones to stay just above flat.”

In focus today

It goes without question that today’s Non-Farm Payrolls report is the key piece of data investors have been looking to this week. A positive outcome should be regarded as the final confirmation for the Fed to pull the trigger on the next interest rate hike. The ADP reading on Wednesday has removed much of the suspense as the bullish numbers suggest the odds of a hike are pretty much guaranteed. However, today’s figures have their own significance.

ADS Securities Analyst, Konstantinos Anthis commented – “Now that a March rate hike appears certain investors will look towards the next rate meeting in June and whether the Fed will take action again. So with expectations set for 200k jobs added in the US economy, a lower or at least steady unemployment rate and a robust wage growth there is some risk for the Dollar should any of these components miss. It appears that investors have already priced in a Fed rate hike, especially after the “early confirmation” from the ADP report and any misses in the Non-Farm Payrolls report components could trigger some profit-taking in the Dollar from money managers focused on the longer term outlook. Having said that, the most likely scenario remains a strong printing across the board that should drive the Dollar to new highs.”

Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Michael Morton

Michael Morton

Michael has worked within the Financial Industry for more than 20 years. Starting out as a financial analyst, he has extensive experience working with fund management groups and brokerages.

With an interest in Stocks and Shares, Funds, ETFs and Commodities, his investment focus is medium to long term gains, with the objective of financial security on retirement, and building wealth for his young children for their adult life. His broker of choice is Hargreaves Lansdown.

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