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FTSE ticks higher after UK jobs data

The index has been consolidating for months in a narrow range. Unfortunately, the boring sideways trading might continue..

The FTSE index, along with other world indices, erased today’s losses, and it was trading somewhat higher ahead of the US session, climbing again above the 50-day average. At the time of writing, it was seen trading at around 7,120 GBP.

UK data support British stocks

Earlier in the day, the UK Office for National Statistics informed that job vacancies hit a 20-year high between July and September. They rose by 318,000, from pre-pandemic January to March 2020 levels, to 1.1 million, with accommodation and food services seeing a near-50,000 jump.

Additionally, the unemployment rate improved slightly to 4.5% in the three months to August from 4.6% in the three months to July.

Data also showed that claimant count change rose slightly to -51,100 in September, up from -58,600 previously . Lastly, wage growth remained relatively strong, well above 5%, reflecting inflation in other parts of the economy.

It looks like the labor market in the UK has recovered quickly from the post lockdown lows, and the number of employees on payroll in September is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. More UK data will be released tomorrow, including industrial production, manufacturing production, and the Gross Domestic Product for August, expected to improve notably to 0.5% from 0.1% month-on-month.

Nevertheless, sentiment in the stock markets seems a bit bearish as indices have dropped notably from their all-time highs amid fears of high inflation and monetary policy tightening.

While investors want to believe the narrative that stock markets can continue to move higher, this belief is bumping up against the reality of how the continued rise in energy prices, as well as supply-chain pressures, are likely to impact company profit margins, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London. ftse 100 equity index

Nothing new on the daily chart

Technically speaking, it is still a bit boring here. Since April, the index has not moved anywhere, and the 50-day moving average has been moving sideways for a long time, losing its relevance.

The key resistance of the current consolidation zone seems to be at around 7,200 GBP , which is not that far away. However, the medium-term uptrend could be confirmed if the index rises above that level, targeting 7,500 GBP in the initial push higher.

Alternatively, the first meaningful support zone seems to be near the psychological level of 7,000 GBP , followed by the lows of the recent crashes near 6,800 GBP. Bulls must defend those two zones or risk a more significant correction.

Until we see a clear break from the recent consolidation zone, swing traders will most likely remain out of the market, leaving it to short-term traders and speculators.

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