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FTSE 100: This morning’s risers and fallers

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The Footsie began the Friday session with a bounce following the previous session's thrashing and ahead of the US September jobs report which is due out this afternoon.

As of 09:00 London’s top flight index was rising by 46 points to 6,492.

Helping sentiment along, US equities steadied on Thursday evening after having started the session sharply lower, as investors reacted with dismay to the lack of action by the ECB at its policy meeting.

Even so, investors seem to be on guard for any negative surprises. Precisely in that regard, the Eurozone’s service sector purchasing managers’ index slipped to a reading of 52.4 in September, after a print of 52.8 in the month before. Economists had been expecting an unchanged reading.

Also significant is the fact that the readings for France and Italy both undershot expectations.

US non-farm payrolls are forecast to rise by 205,000 following a gain of 250,000 in the month before. Nevertheless, economists estimate that the unemployment rate will tick higher by a tenth of a percentage point to 6.1%.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said August’s number was well below expectations of 225,000 and markets are hoping this will be revised upwards.

“The concern is that given some of the data seen this week, which has been on the weak side, we could well be seeing a little bit of a slowdown as we head into the fourth quarter,” he explained.

“The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 6.1%, but it is worth keeping an eye on average hourly earnings, which are expected to move further above the Fed’s 2 per cent inflation target to 2.2% for September from 2.1%.”

easyJet rises to the top of the leaderboard

In company news, Easyjet increased its outlook for the half year ended 30 September from between £545m and £570m to between £575m and £580m, thanks to a strong finish to the summer season, which saw increased revenue per seat. The group has also benefitted from the Air France pilots’ strike in September is expected to increase easyJet’s revenue by around £5m.

Engineering and project management company Amec has announced that Kent Masters and Stephanie Newby will join its board as non-executive directors once the acquisition of Foster Wheeler is completed. Masters is currently president and chief executive of Foster Wheeler, while Newby has been a member of the American company’s board since 2004.

In response to the draft determination published by The Water Services Regulation Authority, United Utilities has submitted a revised plan which would result in average household bills falling by 4.1 per cent in real terms over the 2015-20 period, compared with a 2.3 per cent reduction in its June plan.

FTSE 100 – Risers
easyJet (EZJ) 1,444.00p +5.32%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 810.50p +3.31%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 627.80p +2.26%
TUI Travel (TT.) 388.60p +2.24%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 396.70p +2.03%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,012.00p +1.71%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 228.60p +1.69%
CRH (CRH) 1,388.00p +1.69%
Barclays (BARC) 224.35p +1.61%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,379.00p +1.54%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 469.10p -1.37%
Fresnillo (FRES) 742.50p -0.93%
Tesco (TSCO) 176.80p -0.79%
Diageo (DGE) 1,746.50p -0.71%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 695.00p -0.50%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,583.00p -0.46%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,139.00p -0.39%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,319.00p -0.30%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 931.00p -0.21%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 224.10p -0.18%

Source: ShareCast

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