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FTSE 100, FTSE 250 Outlook Improves After UK Unemployment Data and Roadmap

FTSE 100, FTSE 250 Outlook Improves After UK Unemployment Data and Roadmap

Martin Essex, MSTA, Analyst

FTSE 100, FTSE 250 prices, news and analysis:

  • The latest UK labor market data show a fall in the number of people claiming benefits, suggesting the UK economy is on its way to recovery.
  • That should help both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 stock market indexes, particularly as the UK Government’s roadmap to recovery has been well received.
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FTSE 100 outlook brightens

The headline UK unemployment rate edged up to 5.1% in December, as expected, but data released early in the European day Tuesday also showed that the number of people claiming benefits dropped by 20,000 in January, rather than increasing as analysts had predicted.

UK unemployment data.

The numbers add weight to the idea that the UK economy is now on the way to recovery and that should bolster both the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 indexes of London-listed stocks, particularly after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s so-called four-step roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions, unveiled Monday, was broadly welcomed for its slow and cautious approach.

The FTSE 100 index of leading stocks has been held back by a strong British Pound and the large number of companies in the index with overseas earnings in sectors like banking and mining that have suffered from the global slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. A set of disappointing results from HSBC did not help Tuesday either, with the bank’s shares down 2.36% in early trading.

Latest FTSE 100 price chart.

Source: IG (You can click on it for a larger image)

FTSE 100 BULLISH
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of clients are net long. of clients are net short.
Change in Longs Shorts OI
Daily -6% 25% 0%
Weekly -9% 20% -3%
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However, the jobs data and the roadmap to recovery should help it in the next few days, particularly if traders become more optimistic that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will deliver a Budget to further boost the economy on March 3.

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As for the FTSE 250 index of second-tier shares, that is more focused on domestic businesses so should not be as affected as the FTSE 100 by a stronger Pound and therefore could outperform in the days ahead.

FTSE 250 Price Chart, One-Hour Timeframe (February 2-23, 2021)

Latest FTSE 250 price chart.

Source: IG (You can click on it for a larger image)

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--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst

Feel free to contact me on Twitter @MartinSEssex

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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