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Wednesday's agenda - All quiet on the corporate front

It's a quiet day on the corporate front on Wednesday, on what has otherwise been a busy big cap week.
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UK employment data will be in focus today.....

It's a quiet day on the corporate front on Wednesday, on what has otherwise been a busy big cap week.

But attention turns instead in the morning to the macro picture again, as traders will be looking at UK unemployment data.

Always a good indicator of the pace of growth and the thinking, or potential thinking, of central bankers, such stats are closely looked at, both here and in the US.

Key to investor mood at the moment - a time of market volatility -  is the thinking on interest rate rises and we have already seen the US seemingly row back on forward momentum, which started in 2015, having made its first rise last year.

In the UK, the picture is also hard to sus out, not least from the variety of messages sent from the Governor of the BoE Mark Carney. 

Last month, unemployment stats in the UK for the three months to end November threw up a veritable mixed can.

On the plus side, unemployment fell to its lowest rate in more than a decade but wage growth slowed, so, in other words more people in work, but earning less.

The number of people out of work fell by 99,000 to 1.68 million in the three-month period but average weekly earnings, including bonuses, were up 2%, the slowest increase since February and lower than the 2.1% growth forecast in a Reuters survey.

Tomorrow it is expected that the claimant count, those applying for benefits, will fall in December 2,500 while unemployment is expected to fall to 5% from 5.1%.

Average earnings is anticipated to slip to 1.9% from 2%.

In the US tomorrow, there is also a raft of data.

Among them, US building permits for January and housing starts  and New York state manufacturing index for February.

Also there will be Fed minutes to pour over later in the day - from the FOMC meeting on January 26 and 27.

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