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FTSE drops further after UK data, eyes critical support

EU indices were sold-off today, despite US equity futures rallying sharply.

On Friday, the Footsie index was down 1% as EU indices came under selling pressure, pushing the FTSE 100 down toward the key support level.

Mixed UK economic figures

The industrial sector activity contracted in January, according to the latest UK industrial and manufacturing production figures released on Friday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In January, manufacturing production was -0.4% MoM compared to -0.1% expected and 0% in December, while total industrial output was -0.3% MoM compared to -0.2% expected and 0.3% in December.

The annualized manufacturing production data for the United Kingdom in January came in at -5.2%, below predictions of -5.0%. Overall industrial production fell by 4.3% in the first month of the year, compared to the predicted -4.0% decline and the prior figure of -4.0%.

Meanwhile, the January figures for the UK’s goods trade balance were released, which came in at £-17.855 billion compared to the expected £-17.75 billion and the previous figure of £-19.271 billion. January’s overall trade balance (non-EU) came in at £ 7.808 billion, up from £ 7.484 billion in December.

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In addition, the monthly release of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the United Kingdom revealed on Friday that the economy increased in January, coming in at 0.3% versus 0.1% expected and -0.5% before. The Index of services (January) came in at 0% 3M/3M compared to 0.1% expected and 0% before.

Focus on US jobs data

Now, investors expect the arrival of the highly-anticipated monthly employment data later in the trading session. This was an economic report that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressly referenced earlier this week as impacting central bank members’ thinking toward future interest rate rises.

Nonfarm payrolls are projected to have climbed by 205,000 jobs in February, a deceleration from the phenomenal 517,000 jobs gained in January. Still, the prospect of another positive surprise persists, especially in light of Powell’s hawkish tone in his semi-annual appearance before Congress.

It looks like the major support of previous cycle highs near £7,650 will be tested soon. Should the price drop below that support, a more significant correction could occur, likely targeting the 200-day moving average at £7,420.

FTSE100 daily chart

FTSE100 daily chart, source: author´s analysis, tradingview.com

 

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