New York: 19:50 || London: 00:50 || Mumbai: 04:20 || Singapore: 06:50

Reports UK

UK stock market commentary (May 02, 2014): That Friday Feeling

May 2, 2014, Friday, 05:11 GMT | 00:11 EST | 08:41 IST | 11:11 SGT
Contributed by Capital Spreads

European equities are set to open fairly flat after May Day holiday halted trading. While the EU may have rested yesterday, they will be straight back into the spotlight with important manufacturing data today. And the question to be asked is whether they will follow the UK with similarly positive results?  If so, this will surely indicate that the UK and EU recovery isn't on the housing bubble. Meanwhile in the US, anxious traders will be holding there breath until the Non-farm payroll figure is released. With no weather excuses, analysts are expecting a very good figure to prove the US jobs market is improving. A prediction of a 30K increase in jobs seems a little modest to me, however if they miss big, expect some big volatility back in the markets.


As last week’s unemployment claims were higher than expected the Dow Jones dropped 21 ticks to 16,561 on light profit taking after rallying for three straight sessions. That hesitant mood from investors could also be explained by a cautious attitude ahead of the nonfarm payrolls report due later today and estimated to show employers added 215,000 jobs.


The shared currency closed rather flat against the US dollar yesterday at 1.3868 as most of Europe was out celebrating May Day. The European Central Bank is due to hold its interest rate meeting next week but already the inflation data (stronger than anticipated) provided some slack.


The WTI crude prices continued to slump yesterday, losing 51 cents to $99.22 a barrel defying the increasing tensions in Eastern Europe. Along with the record US oil supply, China’s manufacturing figures indicated a slower than expected growth which puts further downside pressure on the energy complex.


Gold prices maintain their southward trajectory, dropping $6.9 to $1284.8 as the Fed continued trimming the pace of bond buying, $10 billion cut to $45 billion. The fact it was also acknowledged the economy picked up recently, is another bearish feature for the precious metal.