FTSE 100 Live: See-saw week for markets ends on high, oil prices climb

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Stock markets are ending a tough week on the front lines after weekly jobless claims data last night pointed to continued resilience in the US economy.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.8% and the FTSE 100 index is poised to open higher to extend the performance seen this week due to Omicron uncertainty.

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US economists are now waiting for today’s monthly non-farm payrolls data, which could increase pressure on Federal Reserve policymakers to accelerate support for the pandemic.

Oil prices are up 2% this morning after OPEC and its allies stuck to current production plans but pledged to make “immediate adjustments” if demand slows.

live update

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Oil prices rise and FTSE 100 lifts

A rollercoaster week for the stock markets as they fluctuate in response to developments around the Omicron version is poised to end today at higher levels.

CMC Markets forecasts the FTSE 100 index will rise 34 points to 7163, after sentiment was boosted by a strong rebound for US markets last night as weekly jobless claims pointed to continued resilience in the labor market.

Monthly non-farm payrolls figures are due to be released later today, with a stronger figure likely to increase pressure on the Federal Reserve to accelerate the tapering of its massive bond-buying program.

Stock market confidence will also be tested later by releasing figures in the UK and Europe covering the level of activity in the services sector.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose after OPEC and its allies agreed yesterday to stick to existing production plans for an additional 400,000 barrels a day in January.

The move comes after world leaders called for doing more to ease inflationary pressures.

Uncertainty over demand impact from the Omicron version has already wiped more than $10 a barrel off the price of oil and OPEC has made it clear it is ready to make “immediate adjustments” if the global economy slows. .

That pledge contributed to a 2% increase in Brent crude futures to $70.87 and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) to $67.73 a barrel.

Oanda’s market commentator Jeffrey Haley said: “Unless we find a major Omicron rise, I’ll stick my neck out and say that this week’s low for Brent and WTI represents a medium-term low.”


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