It is the first Friday of the month, which means that today there is the release of the pivotal US employment figures, Non-Farm Payrolls. The release can be one of the most volatile economic announcements of the month. Equity markets started the first trading session of the year with sizeable rallies following the fiscal cliff agreement. On Thursday the markets came off, as traders took profit from Wednesday’s move. Today’s jobs report refocuses investors to the economic fundamentals of the US economy, rather than its politics. The consensus is for an increase of 140,000 jobs, though some analysts are being slightly more positive taking into consideration Hurricane Sandy. The Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs, Jan Hatzius has revised his forecast up to +200K.
The figure is released at 13:30 (London) and if you are intending on leaving positions open over the announcement, we recommend caution and appropriate risk management strategies such as stop losses.
If you are on Twitter, then follow the hastage #NFPGuesses for various views, punts and guesses prior to the release. (Though its accuracy should be taken with a pinch of salt)
Hawkish Fed minutes, with lengthy discussion about cost and benefits of asset purchases
International Monetary Fund says fiscal cliff deal is just a short term fix as Dow Jones gains more than 300 points – The Guardian
Ulster Bank to close 20 branches -The Times
Next shares hit fresh high over bumper Christmas period - CityAM
Spain has been quietly tapping the country's richest piggy bank, the Social Security Reserve Fund, as a buyer of last resort for Spanish government bonds, raising questions about the fund's role as guarantor of future pension pay-outs - WSJ
Waitrose smashes Christmas sales records, following aggressive campaigns on products such as champagne and its Brand Price Match Campaign - CityAM
Twitter is set to IPO in 2014, with a valuation in the region of $11bn
The share of euros in the world’s rising powers’ reserve holdings has fallen to its lowest level since 2002, dashing hopes that the single currency will soon challenge the US dollar for global primacy – Daily Telegraph
Strong figure from India, services PMI rose to 55.6 in December from 52.1 in November