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FTSE 100 set to rise as US economy powers ahead

·2-min read
<p>Joe Biden is seeking to boost Covid recovery stimulus</p> (AP)

Joe Biden is seeking to boost Covid recovery stimulus

(AP)

The FTSE 100 was set to make steady gains today after strong showing in Asianmarkets this morning lifted by Thursday’s healthy US jobsdata.

US unemployment benefit claimants plunged to their lowest levels since March 2020 - before the pandemic gripped the nation. The data painted a picture of employers desperate to fill posts as demand surges post-lockdown.

Early signs are of a similar problem in the UK as companies from hospitality and leisure sectors to PR and marketing find themselves with a wealth of orders from customers but a shortage of staff to do the work.

Global shares have been worried about the inflationary effects of the bounceback and the ensuing need for central banks to trim back their generous QE and low interest rates.

This week saw some signalling from Federal Reserve ratesetters that they may begin that tapering process.

But today looked set to be a session where such worries took a back seat.

The New York Times fuelled the optimism with reports that President Joe Biden is planning to seek $6 trillion in federal spending for 2022. While that may be inflationary in the US, it would also help fuel global growth, investors figured today.

In Japan, the Nikkei was up 2%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.6%. China’s CSI 300 was more muted, making little progress.

Against that backdrop, the FTSE 100 was being called up 35 at 7042 by traders on the IG platform.

Elsewhere in futures markets, the S&P 500 was being called up 0.3% for this afternoon’s opening.

Bitcoin has been broadly flat over the past 24 hours, falling 0.74% to $37,513, according to prices quoted on Coindesk.

Shares in AJ Bell may suffer after broker Jefferies warned of revenue and cost headwinds that would hit the group this year and next. Jefferies expects falling dealing commissions and interest income at the group. It also warned that its newly acquired Adalpha tech platform, bought to boost its mobile tech for IFAs, would bring additional costs and no revenue in its current phase.

“We still think medium term growth expectations implied by the share price are too high,” it said, predicting the shares would underperform.

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