A solid US jobs report helps to halt S&P losing streak, this follows a miserable week due to extreme uncertainty over the outcome of the US presidential election. Stock markets elsewhere remained on the back foot as oil prices sank and the possibility of Donald Trump in the White House sent investors scrambling for safety in government bonds , gold and the yen.
London stocks retreated on Friday as the US non-farm payrolls report was seen to put the Federal Reserve on course for a December interest rate hike and amid US election uncertainty.
The FTSE 100 fell 1.43% to 6,693.26 points at the close.
The non-farm payroll rose by a seasonally adjusted 161,000 in October, the Labor Department revealed. While it was less than the 175,000 increase expected by analysts, September’s figures were revised to 191,000 from a preliminary estimate of 156,000.
The unemployment rate also fell to 4.9% from 5.0%, as expected, while average hourly earnings grew at the strongest rate since June 2009. Earnings jumped 2.8% in October compared to a year earlier following a 2.7% increase in September and compared to estimates for a 2.6% increase.
“US non-farm payrolls missed headline forecasts, but a good rise in wages means that a December Fed move looks even more likely,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.
However, the analyst said “nothing is certain” and a win by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at next week’s US election might derail the hike.
Support for Democratic party contender Hillary Clinton is at 44.4% compared to 43.9% for Trump, according to the latest IDB/TIPP poll.
A RealClearPolitics average of polls showed Clinton’s lead at 1.5 points early on Friday, up a touch from 1.3 points late on Thursday, but still lower than her seven point lead in mid-October.
Paul Sirani, chief market analyst at Xtrade, said: “Judging by the polls, Donald Trump has battled his way back into contention, and while a Hillary Clinton remains the most likely victor, a shock result on Tuesday could trigger another set of Brexit-style shudders through markets across the globe.”
In other US news, the trade deficit dropped 10% in September to a 19-month low of $36.4bn from a revised $40.5bn in August, government data showed. Economists had expected the trade gap to total $36.9bn.