Friday, 6 January: In the last piece of key economic data before Donald Trump is sworn in as US president, December jobs data was released before the US open today, with figures indicating a slowdown in job creation in December. Coming in below expectations of 183k, 156k new jobs were created in December. It was the final full month of US President Barack Obama’s term, and also the 75th straight month in which US employers have added jobs. The unemployment rate rose from 4.6% in November to 4.7%. For 2016 as a whole, the US economy added just under 2.2m jobs, an average of 180k a month making it the worst calendar year in jobs creation since 2011.
Jamie Oliver, known for his criticism of British school dinners, is to close six of its restaurants across the UK, blaming pressures and uncertainty following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The group claim the price of ingredients bought in Italy has gone up following the fall in the pound vs the euro. Each restaurant apparently needs 3,000 diners a week to maintain profitability. However, the company look set to open a further 22 restaurants outside of the UK, in addition to the 28 they currently have.
Commuters in London haven’t had a great time of late. Southern Rail, alongside being incredibly unreliable (from what we read) took strike action before Christmas, and a further 48-hour drivers’ strike looks set to take place from Tuesday. However, should you get to London in relative calm on Monday, the travel chaos may well begin as a 24-hour strike by rail workers looks set to close most underground stations in central London. The strike, to begin on Sunday evening, and continue to close of service on Monday means there will be no underground trains from key stations across the capital.
A lack of significant stock news in the UK meant the FTSE 100 stayed within 20bps of its opening level over the course of the day. Lloyds benefitted after Barclays upgraded their rating, with the stock closing +1.93%. The FTSE closing +0.2% means the index has reached new record highs once again. The FTSE 250 ended the day in similar fashion, +0.18%. In the US the Dow Jones seems unable to reach the pivotal 20k marker, currently sitting 0.3% higher at 19,960 at the time of writing.