Finishing the week will be the traditional big bang of US non-farm payrolls (NFP) numbers, the July numbers will be of particular interest as this was when coronavirus cases began to rise again and rising joblessness was seen once again.
The numbers will be watched particularly closely following Wednesday's ADP numbers, which showed that private payrolls increased 167,000 in July, well short of predictions of 1mln, indicating that US economic growth is slowing amid the renewed surge in virus cases. The ADP figure are usually taken as a harbinger of the NFP data, so investors may have tempered their optimism, however, they will likely hope that ADP’s sharp upward revision of June’s payroll count to 4.3mln is reflected in the official numbers.
After losing 22mln jobs between February and April as lockdowns forced businesses to close and lay off workers, before reopening through May and June allowed nearly 8mln of those jobs to come back, the US economy is still an almighty jobs deficit, said economists at ING.
“We are more cautious than the market though and look for a figure closer to 750,000 versus the current consensus of 1.5mln.
“We wouldn’t rule out a negative number for August given the recent developments.”
In the corporate calendar, investors will be awaiting interim results from Standard Life Aberdeen PLC (LON:SLA) and house listing site Rightmove PLC (LON:RMV) as well as final results from Hargreaves Lansdown PLC (LON:HL.).
Significant announcements for Friday 7 August:
Economic data: US non-farm payrolls