US non-farms key news for Friday; Berkeley Group to deliver trading update

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Friday will see macro data at the forefront as the latest monthly US non-farm payrolls (NFP) data caps off the shortened UK trading week.

After July’s NFP survey showed 1.8mln new jobs added, the third straight monthly gain, and 4.8% average weekly wage growth, the August number is expected to come in at around 1.5mln with wages up 5.8%, which if confirmed would imply the pace of improvement is slowing.

US unemployment was marked at 10.2% a month ago, down from the post-war peak of 14.7% in April, and is seen dropping, just, into single figures this time out.

On the corporate calendar, there will be little for investors to focus on aside from a trading update from housebuilder Berkeley Group Holdings PLC (LON:BKG), which will likely be eyed in comparison to results from peer Barratt Developments PLC (LON:BDEV) which were delivered earlier this week.

Investors will want to know how higher-end London properties are doing since Berkeley has big exposure to the area, as well as how efficiently the group is managing to build while maintaining proper social distancing.

While house prices have been shown to be rising post-pandemic lockdown, the company could find itself exposed to further disruption from a second wave of coronavirus infections as well as a rise in unemployment and any Brexit fallout. As a result, shareholders may be looking for any info on how Berkeley is planning to weather any potential speed bumps ahead.

Significant announcements for Friday September 4:

Trading announcements: Berkeley Group Holdings PLC (LON:BKG)

Interims: Eurocell PLC (LON:ECEL)

Economic data: UK construction PMI, US non-farm payrolls, US unemployment

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