FTSE 100

European equities muted as investors eye US NFP data

European markets: quiet before the storm as investors wait US job data.

At the start of trading on Friday, European equities have been muted as investors await the release of monthly US jobs data.

The FTSE started the day flat after Boris Johnson’s resignation. The Conservative Party leader had refused to leave his post after a series of scandals and allegations. That all changed yesterday when party members forced the PM to quit after a string of top-level resignations.

After two days of steady gains, the pan-regional Stoxx 600 index has scarcely budged, falling 0.08 per cent in early trades.

Market sentiment was also hit by the shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The 67-year-old was shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election.

At 1230 GMT, the US will release its non-farm payrolls report, and forecasts expect to reveal that job growth slowed in June and that the unemployment rate remains at 3.6 per cent.

“This is likely to be a double-edged sword for investors. While the data is expected to show another round of strong hiring, which is inherently positive, it also paves the way for policymakers to hike interest rates even more aggressively,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sophie Lund-Yates.

“This is an upside-down situation whereby the announcement of a stronger economic foundation could be viewed as a catalyst for increased market jitters.”

Not Investment Advice Note: Views expressed are those of the writer. The author does not own any stocks mentioned. The article is information, not advice. Share prices can rise and fall. Past returns are not a guide to the future. Please do your own research.