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London open: Stocks in the red as investors mull jobs data

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 18 Jan 2022

London open: Stocks in the red as investors mull jobs data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks fell in early trade on Tuesday following strong gains in the previous session, as investor digested the latest UK jobs data.
At 0835 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.6% at 7,569.21.

Victoria Scholar, head of Investment at Interactive Investor, said: "European markets have opened lower with technology underperforming amid concerns about faster tightening from the Fed and rising yields as Britain's 10-year gilt yield hits a three-month high and Germany's 10-year government bond yield rises to the highest since May 2019. US markets get set to reopen after Monday's holiday with futures pointing to a softer open.

"The FTSE 100 is trading lower amid some profit taking after a strong start to the week, closing Monday's session at the highest level since January 2020. BP and Shell are trading near the top of the index as surging oil prices provide a tailwind for the sector."

On the macro front, data released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed the unemployment rate has eased, as companies continued to hire more staff despite the emergence of the Omicron variant.

There were 29.5m payrolled employees in the UK in December, up 184,000 on November's revised figure, and 409,000 higher than in February 2020. Analysts had been looking for an increase closer to 125,000.

The broader unemployment rate for September to November eased by 0.4 percentage points to 4.1%, marginally below consensus for 4.2%. The rate is now just 0.1 percentage points higher than before the pandemic.

The employment rate remains 1.1 percentage points below pandemic, however, at 75.5%, in part because of a rise in the economic inactivity rate, which is now estimated at 21.3%, 1.0 percentage point higher than before the pandemic and 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous three-month period.

Economic activity is defined as people who are not actively looking for work and/or are not available to start work immediately.

Job vacancies also remained high, rising to a new record in October to December of 1,247,000, up 462,000 on the pre-pandemic level seen in January to March 2020.

Regular pay in the three months to November fell to 3.8% year-on-year from 4.3% in the previous month.

In equity markets, 888 Holdings lost ground even as the online betting and gaming company said full-year revenues had grown year-on-year despite a drop in the final quarter of 2021.

On the upside, oil giants BP and Shell gushed higher as oil prices surged.

Just Group gained after it posted a 25% jump in full-year retirement income sales to £2.7bn.

Alternative asset management firm Petershill Partners advanced after saying it made $458m in acquisitions in the fourth quarter, which are expected to be immediately accretive to consensus earnings forecasts.

Marshalls was also on the front foot as the landscaping specialist lifted full-year guidance after a strong final quarter of the last fiscal year which helped drive a 26% increase in annual revenue.

Qinetiq rose as the defence technology firm said it was on track to meet its full-year expectations after "strong" progress in the third quarter.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,569.21 -0.55%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,745.51 -0.55%
techMARK (TASX) 4,493.38 -0.54%

FTSE 100 - Risers

BT Group (BT.A) 183.35p 1.27%
BP (BP.) 397.60p 0.98%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,857.60p 0.80%
Pearson (PSON) 620.60p 0.75%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,859.00p 0.74%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,470.00p 0.51%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 529.00p 0.38%
Avast (AVST) 603.20p 0.20%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,885.00p 0.17%
BAE Systems (BA.) 591.40p 0.17%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,123.50p -2.26%
Ferguson (FERG) 12,265.00p -2.11%
Halma (HLMA) 2,617.00p -1.99%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,900.00p -1.83%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,133.50p -1.78%
Experian (EXPN) 3,040.00p -1.75%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 13,285.00p -1.67%
Rightmove (RMV) 678.80p -1.65%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 1,110.00p -1.60%
3i Group (III) 1,411.00p -1.47%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Just Group (JUST) 91.60p 6.26%
Petershill Partners (PHLL) 245.00p 3.16%
Genuit Group (GEN) 616.00p 2.33%
Marshalls (MSLH) 704.00p 2.25%
Darktrace (DARK) 422.00p 2.13%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,465.00p 1.91%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 275.40p 1.70%
Playtech (PTEC) 731.00p 1.67%
Contour Global (GLO) 188.00p 1.51%
Energean (ENOG) 929.00p 1.42%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 291.00p -3.48%
LXI Reit (LXI) 147.20p -3.41%
Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 233.50p -3.11%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 258.40p -2.93%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,317.00p -2.84%
Trustpilot Group (TRST) 236.00p -2.80%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 936.00p -2.30%
888 Holdings (888) 262.40p -2.24%
Monks Inv Trust (MNKS) 1,194.00p -2.13%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 280.20p -2.13%


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