FTSE sell off continues as traders eye strong jobs report

<p>UK equities continued to sell off this morning with the bulk of the market happy to remove some of their holdings in risky asset classes […]</p>

UK equities continued to sell off this morning with the bulk of the market happy to remove some of their holdings in risky asset classes in the run up to this afternoons all important US jobs figure.

The miners and oil firms have borne the brunt of the selling we have seen thus far, which is to be expected having seen both Crude and Copper prices both fall over 4%. These are two sectors highlighted as fairly risky assets by investors and so with the jobs data to come out in a few hours, this is where they are reducing risk exposures. The mining and oil sectors in London have now lost around 3% since yesterday afternoon which marks quite a sell off.

The sell off could also be as much about profit taking as reducing risk considering the very strong start to the year both sectors have had. The fact that both tobacco and pharmaceutical sectors are also heavily lower this morning insinuates that traders are not seeking defensive havens.

Expectations for today’s jobs data have steadily improved throughout the week, and this is typified by consensus estimates for non farm payrolls that have been upgraded by around 25% in the last two days thanks to those strong jobs data earlier in the week. It will be interesting to see how investors react of such a strong number does not come to fruitiion.

German Retails Sales for November badly missed expectations today raising a few eyebrows and triggering euro selling. German Retail Sales fell 2.4% when the market had expected a small growth of 0.1%, whilst the October’s growth of 2.3% was revised to minimal growth of 0.1% also. The data was a surprise to the market, with many expecting to see a contraction but nothing to the fall that was realised. Given the historical volatility that these numbers have proved to be, investors are likely to want to see more consistency of sales weakness before reacting with any significance.

SABMiller tops FTSE leader boardSAB Miller topped the FTSE leader board today after Goldman Sachs upgraded their stance on its shares to ‘conviction buy’ from ‘neutral’  citing the firm is in a strong position to key markets whilst its P/E ratio in comparison to the sector fails to reflect its growth potential.

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