FTSE opens higher, US jobs report remains focus

London’s equities market started the day on a positive note, bolstered by robust performances in the banking and housebuilder sectors. The FTSE 100 index opened 0.3% higher at 7,469.25 points, with a 2.4% gain since the beginning of the week, marking its best rise since mid-September.

Investors are now all eyes on the highly anticipated US jobs report, scheduled for release at 12:30 GMT. Analysts predict nonfarm payroll growth to have eased to 180,000 in October, down from 336,000 in September. This crucial data release could influence the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions, shaping the market sentiment in the upcoming days.

In London, the banking sector staged a recovery, with NatWest up by 2.1%, Barclays rising by 1.5%, and Lloyds climbing by 1.2%. This rebound follows a period of decline, with NatWest seeing a 21% drop since the end of September. Additionally, the property market saw a boost after the Bank of England’s interest rate pause, with Barratt Developments, Berkeley, and Segro making gains.

Consumer electronics retailer Currys saw a jump of 5.5% after announcing the sale of its Greece and Cyprus retail business Kotsovolos to Public Power Corp for €200 million. The move aims to streamline the company’s operations and enhance shareholder returns.

Meanwhile, in the FTSE AIM All-Share, Corcel soared 9.5% after positive drilling results in Angola. Executive Chair Antoine Karam expressed optimism about the findings, highlighting the discovery of potentially productive zones. However, Surface Transforms faced challenges, leading to a 33% fall in its shares. The carbon-ceramic brake disc manufacturer encountered production issues, causing a delay in reaching the required production rate until Q1 2024.