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London pre-open: Stocks seen up ahead of US payrolls report

Fri, 5th Aug 2022 07:30

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to edge up at the open on Friday following a positive session in Asia, as investors eyed the latest US non-farm payrolls report.

The FTSE 100 was called to open 10 points higher at 7,458

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Today's July payrolls are expected to see 250k jobs added, which coincidentally was the forecast for June, which was beaten quite comfortably. It will still be the lowest number this year, however the strength of the labour market may well be starting to increase in the level of importance when it comes to how aggressive the Fed is likely to be when it comes to tackling inflation.

"Wages are expected to remain steady at or around 5%, and the unemployment and participation rate to remain steady at 3.6% and 62.2%.

"Given the shift in emphasis in this week's comments from Fed policymakers the better the number will likely determine how aggressive the Fed is likely to be when it comes to tackling inflation with the phrase 'front-loading' being used quite a lot. A weak jobs number could temper the Fed's hawkishness, but it would have to be a shockingly low number, or even negative."

The payrolls report is due at 1330 BST, along with average earnings and the unemployment rate.

In corporate news, advertising giant WPP reported a rise in interim profits, driven by strong client demand across all services.

The company said pre-tax profit rose 12% to £562m. Revenue was £6.8bn, up 10.2% and up 8.7% on a like-for-like basis. It also now expects headline operating profit margin up around 50 bps, reflecting greater top-line momentum offset by inflationary cost pressures, the impact of Chinese lockdowns and investment in growth areas.

Pet supplies retailer Pets At Home said it had delivered a "continued strong performance" in its first trading quarter, with all channels remaining in growth.

Pets At Home said total group revenues were up 7.1% at £404.7m, while like-for-like revenues were up 6% year-on-year, reflecting broad-based growth throughout the 16 weeks ended 21 July.

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