Friday 8 January 2021 2:38 pm

FTSE 100 reverses gains but Wall Street shrugs off grim jobs data

The FTSE 100 ran out of steam today after a record start to the year, but Wall Street shrugged off a dire jobs market report to open higher again.

After four straight sessions of gains, the FTSE 100 is hovering either side of zero, currently down 0.1 per cent at 6,851 points.

Despite today’s slowdown, the blue-chip index is on track for a gain of over 5 per cent in the first week of trading this year.

In a subdued session there were few performers of note, but miners like Fresnillo and Polymetal handed back some gains from earlier in the week.

The FTSE 250 of midcap firms is faring better, up 0.5 per cent 21,115 points.

Stocks in London got off to an early rally on the back of strong gains around the world as markets looked beyond the pandemic, but soon slipped.

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Overnight, the Nikkei hit a three-decade high, as did the pan-Pacific MSCI, while Wall Street also closed at record levels despite chaos in the US.

Wall Street opens higher despite dismal jobs data

Earlier this afternoon a report from the US Labor Department showed that non-farm payrolls lost 140,000 jobs in December, the first losses since last April.

However, despite the grim figures, Wall Street pushed higher again at the opening bell, with all three major indices up.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.6 per cent. 

It meant that once again America’s main markets are chasing record highs as the historic rally continues.

The gains follow expectations that Democratic control of Congress will help incoming President Joe Biden push through larger fiscal stimulus.

Unofficial figures earlier this week reported that 123,000 private sector jobs had been lost last month in a blow to the US’ recovery.