Markets are bracing for next week’s US jobs data and key results from housebuilder Berkeley and the equipment rental giant Ashtead Group.
From Tuesday to Friday, investors will get their first look at this month’s slew of US labour market figures, which will dominate the attention of markets, politicians and central bankers throughout the week.
The announcements will kick off with the Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS) on Tuesday, followed in quick succession by ADP payrolls, job cuts and the US government’s official non-farm payrolls survey, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively.
Analysts are expecting the JOLTS figures to be particularly telling, with declining vacancies a sign that workers lack confidence in the economic outlook and are willing to stick with their current employer for longer.
Headline unemployment is still near historic lows. New figures are significant as financial markets are pricing in interest cuts for 2024, in the view there will be a soft economic landing and cooling inflation.
On the London Stock Exchange, high-end housebuilder Berkeley’s results are top of the agenda. Shares are sitting at a 12-month high and buoyed by management’s bold profit ambitions, as well as hopes for further rate cuts from the Bank of England next year.
Berkeley is expecting to make £1.1bn in pre-tax profit in 2024 and 2024. In October, long-time chief Rob Perrins reaffirmed earnings guidance for the year to April 2024, with the company citing strong pricing amid a shortage of housing stock.
Equipment rental titan Ashtead’s half-year results will also be closely watched by investors. A surprise November profit warning sent shares spiralling and Tuesday’s report will likely give more clarity as to future performance.
Other key reports will come from travel firms TUI and On The Beach, Frasers, Balfour Beatty, Marston’s and the vehicle hire firm Redde Northgate.