FTSE consolidates ahead of US jobs data

The FTSE 100 edged lower early today having enjoyed its biggest gain for 20 months in the previous session ahead of important jobs data out of the United States.

London’s blue chip index fell 12.17 points, or 0.2 per cent to 6,409.50, by 8.11am It enjoyed its biggest gain since November 2011 yesterday after the Bank of England and the European Central Bank signalled extended periods of monetary stimulus.

In context though the FTSE 100 has only just started to recover from near 12 per cent falls from May highs and remains down around six per cent from that level.

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Falls were triggered by fears over the growth outlook which were precipitated by the US Federal Reserve saying it would likely begin scaling back its stimulus measures by the end of the year, dependent on economic data.

Investors will therefore focus on US jobs data with the non-farm payrolls due out at 12.30pm expected to have increased by 165,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists, which could keep the Fed on track to start curtailing its monetary stimulus later this year

Alastair Winter, chief economist at Daniel Stewart Securities, said he sees more volatility in markets surrounding Fed policy and expected figures above 200,000 or below 100,000 to cause a swing in markets.