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FTSE 100 recovers, US jobless claims come in hot

Published 28/12/2023, 14:37
© Reuters FTSE 100 recovers, US jobless claims come in hot
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US jobless claims come in hot

The number of Americans filing for unemployment claims came in hotter than expected, with today’s readout for the week ending 23 December counting 218,000 claims against a 210,000 forecast.

Continuing claims rose by 14,000 to a one-month high of 1,875,000, as expected by markets.

A cooling labour market is expected to encourage the dovish faction of the US Federal Reserve to press on with rate cuts in 2024.

Back in London, the FTSE 100 remains 0.12% higher at 7,733.

FTSE strikes an afternoon comeback

The FTSE 100 has clawed back lost ground, with the blue-chip index running back up to 7,728 in mid-afternoon trades.

It was as low as 7,710 just before midday.

Top riser among the individual stocks include BAE Systems (LON:BAES), Pearson PLC (LON:PSON) and Admiral Group (LON:ADML).

The recovery comes as US markets prepare to open on the front foot, with traders eyeing up another year-to-date high for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index.

Oil prices dip

Crude oil futures have dropped to $73 per barrel, continuing the 1.9% decline seen yesterday.

The dip follows a data release showing an increase of 1.84 million barrels in US crude inventories last week, the largest jump in five weeks.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV), had this to say earlier this morning: “With Maersk now scheduling tankers resuming their passages via and Suez Canal and the Red Sea, thanks to the reassurance of a US-led maritime force in the region, it’s helped dispel some immediate concerns about supply issues.

“However, tensions remain elevated, with Middle Eastern leaders warning about the conflict widening, with Israel’s border with Lebanon, a worrisome hotspot, following attacks by Hezbollah. So, crude prices are staying largely elevated, especially with the US economy showing signs of resilience, boosting the outlook for global demand."

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