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European markets mixed, Wall Street rises as 275,000 jobs added in US in February

ftse LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 03: A 'Now Hiring' sign is posted outside a hotel on January 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. U.S. job openings fell to 8.79 million in November, the lowest in over two years, according to the U.S. Labor Department. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The FTSE fell on Friday as it was revealed that the US economy added 275,000 jobs in February. (Mario Tama via Getty Images)

European markets were broadly mixed on Friday, as the FTSE 100 pulled back after traders spent the week digesting policy updates from the spring budget. Meanwhile, the US rose by mid-morning on jobs data, which revealed the economy added 275,000 jobs in February.

  • The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) fell 0.3% in Friday's session. Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) regained earlier losses to trade almost flat and the CAC (^FCHI) in France rose 0.3%.

  • The pan-European STOXX 600 (^STOXX) was 0.2% higher.

  • Across the pond, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was trading 0.2% higher, the Dow (^DJI) up 0.2%, and the Nasdaq headed (^IXIC) 0.2% into the green.

  • The US jobs report revealed an addition of 275,000 jobs in February and an uptick in the unemployment rate, bolstering investor confidence in expedited rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

  • The market has gotten a boost this week as chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers the Federal Reserve is "not far" from being confident inflation is in the right place for the central bank to start bringing down borrowing costs.

  • The moves also come following a busy week of news in London, after chancellor Jeremy Hunt rolled out a raft of policies in the spring budget. The pound is subsequently up about 1.2% against the dollar (GBPUSD=X) to trade above $1.28.

Follow along for live updates:

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER18 updates
  • That's all for today

    Here ends the live coverage. Head over to our US site for more market moving news.

  • FTSE risers and fallers

    As the week closes out DS Smith is still at the top of the FTSE 100. It looks set to finish the session around 5.8% higher.

    Meanwhile, Entain, Rentokil and GSK are on the other end, dragging the index down.

    The FTSE 100 looks, overall, set to close around the same point it opened at on Monday.

  • US team's take on jobs

  • HelloFresh stock drops

    Back in Europe: Online food brand HelloFresh's stock is tanking today after the meal kit retailer issued a profit warning for the year.

    The stock is currently 42% lower, as it said it expects earnings of between €350m (£298m) and €400m this year. Analysts had forecast €568m.

  • US rate cut 'closer than we thought'?

    Here's Neil Wilson from Finalto with the skinny on US jobs

    Nonfarms were a bit of five-pinter: looks good at first but maybe isn’t so pretty once you take a closer, more sober, look. Payrolls confirmed the weekly trend – dollar, Treasury yields down, stocks and gold up. The yellow metal jumped sharply to a new all-time high, whilst the 2yr Treasury fell to 4.4%, lowest in a month. DXY slumped to 102.30, the lowest since mid-January. Yields fell across the board with Eurozone govt bond yields following Treasuries. Stock futures rallied after initially selling off, SPX called to open 5pts higher, DJIA 40pts lower, NDX a bit higher.

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 275,000 in February, another hot reading vs forecast. But the unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent, worse than expected, and revisions scrubbed 167k from the last two months – January alone was a 35% revision, which kind of makes a bit of a mockery of the data. Downward revisions say the labour market wasn’t as strong as thought, so all else equal the Fed ought to be objectively closer to a cut than we thought.

  • Meanwhile...

    275K new. Unemployment rises to 3.9%

    Economists had expected 200K new jobs and an unemployment rate of 3.7%.

  • BREAKING: US jobs data

    Looks like this part of jobs report broadly hit analysts estimates:

  • Gold continues rally

    "Gold is now enjoying its eighth successive session of back-to-back gains. This rally, which began on Wednesday 28th February, has seen gold rise by 6.6% to post a fresh record high," says David Morrison, senior market analyst at TradeNation.

  • Stocks to watch at the US open: Costco

    Costco once again bulked up its bottom line on the back of gold bars and warehouse-friendly prices on everyday essentials.

    The wholesale club posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.92, soundly beating estimates of $3.62. Revenue came in at $58.4bn, up 5.7% year over year, but slightly lower than expectations of $59bn, per Bloomberg data.

    Same-store sales, excluding gas and foreign exchange, jumped 5.8%.

    In the US, same-store sales growth came in higher than expected at 4.8%. Canada beat estimates with 9% same-store sales growth, while international stores posted a higher-than-expected increase of 8.2%.

    Digital sales grow more than 18% compared to a year ago, powered by demand for gold bars, silver and appliances, Costco CFO Richard Galanti told analysts on a late Thursday conference call.

    Membership fees, a key revenue stream, came in at $1.1bn, up from $1bn a year ago.

  • Stocks to watch at the US open: Broadcom

    Broadcom stock was trading around 2.1% lower in premarket on Friday, erasing around half of the gains made in trade on Thursday following a torrid week.

    The superconductor supplier notched first-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $10.99 (£8.57), a figure which topped Wall Street estimates of $10.42.

    Net revenue of $12bn beat the $11.8bn expectation. However, the semiconductor solutions group posted revenue that fell short of analyst estimates.

    The CEO said on its earnings call after the report that the company expects "revenue to grow over 35% year on year compared to our prior guidance for 30% annual growth."

    Read more here: Trending tickers: Broadcom, Costco, Frasers, DS Smith

  • BP boss rakes in £8m in 2023

    BP Interim CEO Murray Auchincloss speaks at the panel dicscussion during the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference held at ADNEC Exhibition Center on October 2, 2023. (Photo by Ryan LIM / AFP) (Photo by RYAN LIM/AFP via Getty Images)
    BP Interim CEO Murray Auchincloss. (RYAN LIM via Getty Images)

    Oil major BP (BP.L) paid its newly minted CEO £8m in 2023, according to its annual report, and clawed back £1.8m from the pay packet of former CEO Bernard Looney.

    Murray Auchincloss' salary was £1m and he received benefits worth about £338,000, as well as a cash allowance in lieu of a pension worth £190,000. He also received a share bonus of £1.8m and performance shares worth £4.7m.

    Oil prices are up around 10% for the year-to-date, spelling another potentially bumper quarter for the energy giant. The revelation hasn't particularly affected the company's stock price.

  • Frasers stock falls

    Frasers Group stock is down around 1.3% this morning following the Matchesfashion news.

    Matchesfashion employs around 700 people, according to recent regulatory filings. In recent years the company has been lossmaking, with accounts to January 2023 showing it made a £33.5m loss last year.

  • Here's how US stocks are looking ahead of the open

    US stock futures:

  • Packaging takeover on the FTSE: Mondi and DS Smith

    Mondi and DS Smith stock prices are going separate ways this morning, with DS leading the FTSE at more than 6% higher and Mondi down 2.3% following news of a merger.

    Packaging firm Mondi is set to acquire DS Smith — a smaller rival — in an all-share deal worth £5.1bn. The combination will create a firm worth £10bn.

  • MatchesFashion to go into administration

    Luxury clothes retailer Matchesfashion is the latest Frasers Group chain to face administration. The move comes just months after Frasers bought the company for £52m from private equity firm Apax.

    Reports stated that Teneo is set to shepherd the process.

    "Since Frasers acquired Matches, the business has consistently missed its business plan targets and, notwithstanding support from the group, has continued to make material losses," Frasers said in a statement to the stock market. "Whilst Matches’ management team has tried to try to find a way to stabilise the business, it has become clear that too much change would be required to restructure it, and the continued funding requirements would be far in excess of amounts that the group considers to be viable."

  • Overnight in Asia

    Asian stocks were also broadly on a positive beat on Friday, with Japan's Nikkei (^N225) closing 0.2% higher and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong (^HSI) rising almost 1%.

    Optimism has returned to the market as traders weigh up potential timings for rate cutting cycles and further stimulus from Asian governments.

    Asian stocks saw a seven-month peak and clinched their firmest week in more than two months, according to Reuters.

  • Overnight in the US

    US markets finished Thursday in the green, with the three major indexes rebounding from losses earlier in the week. Markets have been jittery of late as doubt has crept in about the Federal Reserve's readiness to cut rates.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed at yet another record high in 2024. The Nasdaq (^IXIC) fell just short of a new high.

    Stocks have risen the past two sessions as the market assessed Powell's questioning by lawmakers on the economy and monetary policy, which has brought no bad news or surprises. The Fed chief stuck to repeating the message that the central bank is in no hurry to ease policy, though he said rate cuts are likely to come this year.

    On Thursday, this time before the Senate Banking Committee, the Fed Chair reiterated the central bank's intentions on rate cuts, provided inflation data continues to show continued cooling.

    • Later today: jobs market data

  • Good morning!

    Hello from London, the sun is sort of shining and things are looking a lot calmer than they were in the rush of news that the UK's budget sparked. Looks like a slightly negative start to the trading day UK markets. Let's get to it.

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