The market is looking for the Goldilocks of US jobs numbers later on Friday.
Ideally the labour market would neither be so hot that it suggests the Federal Reserve needs to stay aggressive on interest rates nor so cold that it implies the world’s largest economy is headed for a severe downturn.
Overnight US stocks largely consolidated Wednesday’s big gains, which had been driven by comments from Fed chair Jerome Powell that a slowing in the pace of rate hike would come at the Fed’s December meeting. Notably a key measure of inflation followed by the Fed came in below expectations on Thursday.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “The FTSE 100 was firmly lower on Friday, dragged down by some profit-taking in resources stocks. Investors may also be hedging their bets ahead of the US open.”
A year from hell for online fast fashion firm ASOS isn’t getting any better as interim finance boss Katy Mecklenburgh announces plans to step down just over a month after taking on the role.
“While there’s nothing unusual about someone in a temporary position getting a job elsewhere, and she’s not leaving for six months, it ramps up the pressure on ASOS to find a permanent replacement for Mecklenburgh’s predecessor Mat Dunn and adds to the somewhat chaotic feel around the business.”