The UK unemployment rate
The UK unemployment rate remained at 4.2% in September. The market had expected it to rise to 4.3%. Average hourly earnings, excluding bonuses, are also 7.7%.
Currency traders await US inflation data later this afternoon. Headline consumer price index (CPI) is forecast to rise by 3.8% in October year-on-year (YoY), after a 3.7% increase the previous month. Core CPI growth is forecast to remain at 4.1% in October.
On the equity market, Vodafone has released its first-half results. It reported a 4.2% rise in group service revenue for the six months to the end of September, with both Europe and Africa up, and 0.3% higher adjusted core earnings, a rise limited by higher energy costs.
Over in the US, Wall Street is bracing for weaker figures from US home improvement company Home Depot when it releases its results later, after earnings reports from other home improvement chains have solidified growth concerns. The company is expected to post earnings of £3.76 per share on revenue of $37.63 billion. That compares to earnings per share of $4.24 and revenue of $38.9 billion. Historically, home improvement Stocks have been negatively impacted by interest rate hikes. At the same time, weakening consumer demand and higher input costs have squeezed margins.
In commodities, oil prices rose on Monday, following the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’s (OPEC) monthly report. The organisation made a slight increase to its 2023 forecast for global oil demand growth and stuck to its relatively high 2024 prediction. Last week, both Brent and WTI fell to their lowest levels since July, a sign that traders are growing increasingly concerned about the global economy and waning demand.