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FTSE 100 seen higher ahead of US non-farm payrolls

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The FTSE 100 is seen 0.7% higher today after plummeting 2.3% yesterday on disappointing US jobless claims and manufacturing data. It was reported that US jobless claims increased by 13,000 last week to reach 472,000. This followed a batch of negative data that came out in China and the US today, showing declines in China’s and US PMI indexes from 53.9 to 52.1 and from 59.7 to 56.2 respectively.

Oil and gas supermajor BP (LON:BP) was the top performing blue chip yesterday, rising 2.8%. Satellite communications company Inmarsat (LON:ISAT) also stayed on positive territory with a marginal gain.

Banking group Barclays (LON:BARC) was at the bottom of the pile with a 5.6% loss. Specialist banking group Investec (LON:INVP) and gold miner Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) declined 5.4%. Asset management firm Schroders (LON:SDR) and base metal miner Eurasian Natural Resources (LON:ENRC) shed 5%, as did turbine manufacturer Rolls Royce (LON:RR). Airline British Airways (LON:BAY), Royal bank  of Scotland (LON:RBS) and another energy heavyweight Shell (LON:RDSB) lost more than 4.5%.

US stocks finished in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4%, the broader S&P 500 index declined 0.3% and the technology heavy NASDAQ composite also dropped 0.4%.

Asian markets were in selling mode today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 1.4%, South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.9%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and China’s Shanghai Composite Index were flat, as was Japan’s Nikkei 225 index.

Commodities

Oil prices extended losses with August Brent Crude sliding to US$72.30/barrel, while US light, sweet crude for August deliver declined to US$72.88/barrel.

Gold improved after collapsing below US$1,200/oz yesterday. The yellow metal rose to US$1,208/oz, while silver and platinum climbed to US$17.95/oz and US$1,511/oz respectively.

Base metals improved with copper and nickel reaching US$2.90/lb and US$8.69/lb, while zinc advanced to US$0.80/lb.

Key non-farm payrolls and unemployment rate data is due out in the US today.

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