FTSE 100 : Index seen lower ahead of US jobs report

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The UK benchmark index is set to start the last trading day of the week on the back foot, amid investor caution ahead of the US jobs report, which precedes the Federal Reserve’s last meeting for the year, and with the oil deal relief running out of steam. Lenders will remain in focus following the Bank of England stress test earlier this week, with RBS (LON:RBS) expected to deepen cuts at its investment bank.

Opening calls suggested that the Footsie would start the day 0.66 percent in the red at 6,708 points. The blue-chip index takes it’s cue from the US where equities closed mostly lower last night ahead of the jobs report today.

“We have the jobs report due tomorrow, but I think people are trying to figure out what to do with it. Everything is baked in,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, as quoted by CNBC. The newswire notes that according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, market expectations for a Fed rate hike are about 99 percent. Asian shares meanwhile have retreated this morning.

At home, the FTSE 100 shed 30.86 points to close 0.45 percent lower at 6,752.93, with sentiment subdued in the wake of Wednesday’s deal by OPEC and Russia to curb a global supply glut.

“Filtering the knee-jerk reaction, we have doubts about the mid-term potential in the oil recovery,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at London Capital Group, told Reuters.

Today’s macroeconomic agenda includes the UK construction purchasing managers’ index for November, due out at 09:30 GMT. The US non-farm payrolls for November are scheduled to be released at 13:30 GMT. IG reports that economists expect an increase of 180,000 jobs compared with the 161,000 posted for the previous month. The unemployment rate meanwhile is expected to have remained unchanged at seven percent.

In company news, Bloomberg reported that analysts expect RBS to deepen cuts at its investment bank and its Irish business to boost capital after failing the BOE’s stress teat.

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