Friday preview: US jobs report in focus

The US jobs report will be the focus of the markets on Friday and will give an addiction of how the world's largest economy is faring in 2013 following the disappointing growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

The US jobs report will be the focus of the markets on Friday and will give an addiction of how the world's largest economy is faring in 2013 following the disappointing growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

The consensus forecast is for a 160,000 increase in non-farm payrolls in February, slightly ahead of the 157,000 gain the month before.

The separate ADP report on Wednesday showed that 198,000 jobs were added in February, well ahead of the 170,000 gain expected.

Meanwhile, economic figures released Thursday showed that US jobless claims came in better than expected last week: caims fell from an upwardly revised 347,000 to 340,000 last week, the third lowest figure of the last five years and well below the 355,000 consensus forecast.

"Once again, jobless claims were below 350,000 last week, which suggests the drop since the beginning of the year is a sign of things to come, rather than a temporary blip in the data," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.

"This should bode well when the unemployment figure is released tomorrow. As it stands, the rate is expected to remain at 7.9%, however the sustained fall in new claims suggests we could see a drop to 7.8%, especially if non-farm payrolls come in close to the ADP figure released on Wednesday."

INTERIMS

Marshalls

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

CPL Resources, Daejan Holdings

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Boeing Co, Lilly (Eli) & Co

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Industrial Production (GER) (11:00)

Non-Farm Payrolls (US) (13:30)

Unemployment Rate (US) (13:30)

Wholesale Inventories (US) (15:00)

Export-Import data (China)

FINALS

Aga Rangemaster Group, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (Singapore Reg), Jardine Strategic Holdingd Ltd. (Singapore)

ANNUAL REPORT

Senior

IMSS

SThree

SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Photo-Me International

EGMS

Carpathian, Talvivaara Mining Company (CDI)

AGMS

BlackRock Commodities Income Inv Trust

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Blackrock Frontiers Investment Trust, Blackrock Income And Growth Investment Trust, Pressure Technologies, Sage Group, Treatt

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

KPMG/REC report on Jobs

BC

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