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Markets tread water ahead of NFP

The weaker dollar story continues today as traders trim US long positions ahead of the Non-Farm Payrolls data release this afternoon. Expected to print 190,000 jobs in January, a lot softer than the December number, there is a strong possibility that any miss on expectations will only push the dollar lower. Wage growth will be key with consensus looking for 0.3% gain m/m. Given the current backdrop and market volatility, it would take a fairly stellar number to shift market expectations in respect of any rate hikes in the near term. The ‘one and done’ scenario seems now to be a base-case when it comes to market expectations and Bill Dudley (NY Fed) only helped to underpin that speculation.


The FX picture tells the story, where despite the monetary policy divergences, the euro is trading near a 3 month high at $1.1195, while the Yen has strengthened to 116.89 against the greenback.


The FTSE is presently trading flat with the telecommunications and consumers staples sectors outperforming. Oscillating the 5900 level, the trend is still very much to the downside.  Once again the financial and materials sector are providing the main drag.


BG Group (+0.09%) takeover by Royal Dutch Shell is almost complete, has reported a rise in its final full-year earnings. Pre-tax profits for the full year were $2.97bn (£2bn), compared with a loss of $2.3bn in 2014.


ABF (+1.31%) Liberum Capital the broker has now set a ‘Buy’ rating on shares of Associated British Foods PLC with a price target of 3750p


Kingfisher (+1.16%) LFL sales in the UK rose 1.4% in January according to BDO High Street Sales Tracker.


Coca Cola (+1.51%) has its ratings slashed to “underweight” by Barclays yesterday amid rising risks of a devaluation of the naira in Nigeria - a key market. The shares fell 6% and broke a key uptrend from the lows of 14/1/15. This trend line now represents resistance at 1360p.


UK mining stocks staged a bear squeeze yesterday on the back of dollar weakness, Anglo American rose 20% but we’re back to normal today with the sector underperforming.


Anglo American (-3.75%), Glencore (-1.63%)


Vodafone (+1.76%) analysts at HSBC Securities reiterated Vodafone Group PLC’s (LON:VOD) shares as ‘Buy’. Price target of 260 on the company’s stock this indicates the broker now believes there is an increase of 23.66% from Vodafone Group PLC’s current price of 210.25.