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Super-storm Sandy still affecting US jobs

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The key economic indicator of the week is US non-farm payrolls, the first major economic sign-post of every month.

Economists reckon non-farm payrolls in November rose by 91,000, after increasing 171,000 in October. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 7.9%.

Yesterday, payrolls processing firm ADP released a report indicating non-farm private employment rose by 118,000 (seasonally adjusted) in November, which was less than the 125,00 the market had been expecting.

Meanwhile, today, first time jobless claims in the US last week fell 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, slightly below the 380,000 economists had been predicting.

So, the signals are mixed.

On top of that, employment figures have been affected by the fall-out from super-storm Sandy, with economists estimating that the November US non-farm payrolls figure could have been dented by between 25,000 and 75,000 because of the disruption caused. 

On the corporate front, the agenda is relatively light, with house builder Berkeley Group (LON:BKG) set to take centre stage with its interims.

The firm’s focus on London and the south-east has certainly not done it any harm and the shares have done well since the group said in early September that full year earnings are likely to be towards the top end of brokers' forecasts.

Specialist investment management firm Polar Capital Holdings (LON:POLR) is also scheduled to release interim figures. 

Peel Hunt predicts a 6% decline in adjusted profit before tax to £4.5mln.

“The key date remains 31 December when most funds have performance fee calculation dates. We are forecasting full-year performance fee profits of £5.8mln, with £4.2mln accrued already,” the broker said.

Announcements expected

Companies: Berkeley Group Holdings, Photo-Me International, Polar Capital
Macro: RICS Housing pricing balance (UK), Industrial production (UK), Non-farm payrolls and unemployment (US), Hourly earnings (US), NIESR GDP estimate (UK)

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