Mike van Dulken at Accendo Markets, commented to clients this morning:
FTSE 100 called to open flat at 7400, continuing to consolidate 7370-7427 after the recent 3.7% bounce from 7160. Bulls need a break above Wednesday’s 7427 highs to extend the 3-month rising channel towards 7560. Bears require a breach of 7370 for a fall back towards the channel floor at 7240. Watch levels: Bullish 7430, Bearish 7365
Calls for a flat open derive from a mixed session in Asia, after the US and China pushed back the timing of a possible trade deal until May. This dented hopes of a deal being close after recent talk of progress. FTSE dual-listed Miners trade mixed in Australia.
An overnight GBP bounce (USD weaker on trade deal delay) is preventing the FTSE from progress. Brent Crude remains close to $70 highs (best since mid-Nov), which would normally benefit FTSE Oil Majors, but this is countered by GBP strength. The same is true of the Miners, whose wares are also denominated in dollars and sensitive to China demand.
In corporate news this morning;
Vodafone has sold $2bn of hybrid securities at 4.38%, concluding €20bn of funding (avg. 2.3%, 9 years) to acquire Liberty Global assets in Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. Separately, L’Expansion says Vodafone and Orange are negotiating sharing 5G networks in Spain.
GVC Q1 net gaming revenues +9% (online +18%, UK Retail flat, Euro retail +3%); reiterates full year guidance. UK hit from FOBT legislation offset by betting machine growth. EU boosted by sports.
In focus today:
The US Jobs report (1.30pm) is expected to show normalisation to around 180K in March, after a very strong Jan (311K) and equally weak Feb (20K). Note ADP jobs data on Wednesday disappointed, plunging to an 18-month low, but it could merely be lagging NFP.
Watch out for all the other employment figures, which could always steal the limelight; Average Hourly Earnings for its inflationary read-across (expected stable at 3.4% YoY), Participation rate (expected 62.9% vs 63.2%), Unemployment Rate (expected 3.8%, unchanged).
The latest twists and turns on Brexit, before next week’s hard Brexit deadline, as well as details on the delay to US-China Trade Talks, could both move markets. Otherwise, data is limited to UK Halifax House Prices (8.30am) could influence the Housebuilders this morning.