FTSE 100 watch: Footsie remains lower after US jobs report

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The UK benchmark index has remained in the red this afternoon following a strong jobs report in the US. Sentiment has been subdued today ahead of Italy’s constitutional referendum on Sunday.

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As of 14:15 GMT, the FTSE 100 had lost 48.34 points to stand 0.72 percent lower at 6,704.59. The index has remained in negative territory after the US Bureau for Labour Statistics said that the world’s biggest economy had added 178,000 new jobs last month, while the unemployment rate had declined to 4.6 percent.

Investors are also staying on the sidelines ahead of Italy’s constitutional referendum on Sunday, whose result could potentially spark elections. Traders told Reuters that while a ‘no’ vote would be no surprise, investors were loath to buy stocks heading into a weekend that also sees the re-run of the presidential election in Austria, where a far-right candidate is making a strong bid for victory.

Sharecast meanwhile quoted HSBC as saying that a ‘yes’ win could trigger outperformance from banks, driven by expectations of a lower cost of funding and possibly higher-than-expected lending growth compared to the analysts’ current estimates.

Property stocks have been in demand in today’s session, following mid-cap Berkeley Group’s (LON:BKG) results. Land Securities (LON:LAND) and British Land (LON:BLND) have been today’s biggest blue-chip risers, with Land Securities’ share price currently standing 2.02 percent higher at 958.00p, and shares in British Land having added 1.81 percent to 590.00p so far today.

Rolls-Royce (LON:RR), which announced plans to shed about 800 jobs in its troubled Marine division yesterday, has been today’s most notable Footsie faller. Rolls-Royce’s share price is currently 4.13 percent worse off at 653.82p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.78 percent down at 6,700.09 points as of 14:29 GMT on Friday, December 2, 2016.

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