As usual for the first Friday of the month, investors will be focusing on the highly anticipated Non Farm Payroll report from the US which will give an overview of the job market situation for January and which is expected to show an increase of only 150,000. However, this report will be even more highly focused on since Wednesday's ADP report surprised markets with a significantly below expectation reading of -301,000 and pointed to increasing difficulties in the world's largest economy caused in part by the Omicron variant. While rising costs and supply concerns continue to impact the economic recovery, the FED maintains its position that full employment has been reached and that it will adjust it’s policies when it deems necessary in order to stimulate further growth. A better than expected result could encourage the Fed to continue its approach, while a disappointing reading could cause further concerns and may shift focus slightly on wage figures and their relation to record level inflation in the world's largest economy. Either way, today could see a noticeable increase in volatility as investors assess the situation and as stock markets attempt to stabilize after several weeks of significant moves.
UK Construction PMI sparks slight optimism
The UK construction sector continued to gain momentum after a difficult end to 2021 thanks to an improvement in commercial activity which helped offset a weak rise in house building. Improvements were also helped by a drop in cost inflation which fell to a 10-month low thanks to an easing of supply issues, which have been affecting the sector for months. As a result, commercial work helped construction growth reach a six-month high but with supplier lead times continuing to lengthen in January as staff shortages and a lack of haulage availability hindered deliveries, the situation continues to be uncertain.
Oil prices reach multi year high as global tensions rise
As the situation on the Ukraine-Russia border continues to escalate with several countries sending military personnel in an attempt to mitigate the issue, we are seeing another record increase in the price of oil with Brent reaching the highest level since October 2014 and breaking above $92. While OPEC announced it will increase its production by 400,000 barrels per day in March, the market remains concerned for a potential undersupply and general destabilization which could have consequences for the vast majority of sectors in economies as they are tied to oil prices for transport, shipping and energy. We have already noticed increasing energy costs across the world and further tensions could see these increase even more as uncertainty may lead to stockpiling and difficulties in general trade. Despite this, an easing of tensions with a continued global recovery could see the price retreat as long as a balance is maintained with suppliers in the short and medium term.