The key event of the day for markets is the release of new US jobs numbers as these will be analysed closely by the Federal Reserve at its November interest rate decision. The consensus is non-farm payrolls to have increased by 250,000 in September versus 315,000 in August. The unemployment rate is seen unchanged at 3.7%.
While the non-farm payroll estimate implies a slowdown in jobs growth, hitting those forecasts may still send a signal to investors that the jobs market remains buoyant enough and that the Fed will stick to its path of raising rates.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “US stocks were weak yesterday, but pre-market indicative prices point to a flat opening when shares resume trading on Friday.
“The FTSE 100 saw a small tick up (+0.1%), with defence, banking, utilities and energy stocks leading the way.
“Key companies reporting next week include PepsiCo and Domino’s Pizza in the US, which will reveal more about consumer spending habits. We then have the big banks starting to report at the tail end of the week.”