Equities flat ahead of US non-farm payrolls

Stock markets are broadly unchanged ahead of the US non-farm payrolls report at 1.30pm (London time).

Investors are unwilling to buy back into the market today ahead of the hotly-anticipated US jobs report. Non-farm payrolls are regarded by some traders as the most important figure of the month, as it offers a strong indication of how strong the US economy is.

The US unemployment rate is currently at 7.5%, the lowest is has been since December 2008, and the Federal Reserve has said it will keep its monetary policy loose until unemployment drops to 6%. There has been much recent speculation that the Fed will start to taper its stimulus package if the US economy improves, so if we see a drop in the jobless rate equities could drift lower.

In a quiet morning for corporate news, FTSE Mid 250 homebuilder Bellway has announced a 31% increase in the number of reservations, after credit conditions and the UK government’s help-to-buy scheme gave the company a boost.

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