SP 500 looking to reach a new high as jobless claims lower

The S&P 500 continued to climb on Thursday, with the index now on the brink of setting a new all-time high.

This came as Initial Jobless Claims figures fell during the last week of January, which coincided with an increase in ADP Payrolls on Wednesday.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 33,000 to 779,000 last week, meaning that we have now seen claims fall for three consecutive weeks.

News of this was well received by markets, which forecasted that claims would come in at 830,000.

As of writing the S&P 500 was up 0.88%.

Related: Private Payrolls help Boost S&P 500

Pound moves as BOE keep rates unchanged

GBP moves as Bank of England keeps rates unchanged

The British pound moved across the board on Thursday, as the Bank of England revealed its monetary policy decision.

Following the meeting of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, it was announced that they voted unanimously to keep interest rates unchanged at 0.1%.

In addition to this, the MPC opted to keep the size of its QE programme unchanged at £875 billion.

As a result of this, EURGBP fell to its lowest level since May 12th last year. London’s FTSE 100 was also marginally down.

Shell sees profits fall to lowest in 20 years

Royal Dutch Shell today announced that it had suffered its worst year of trading in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The oil giant which released its Q4 earnings showed that annual profit fell by close to 71% to $4.8 billion.

This comes days after BP posted similar results as its oil and gas production and profits from oil refining dropped considerably.

Despite today’s announcement, Shell’s CEO, Ben van Beurden stated that “We are coming out of 2020 with a stronger balance sheet”.

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Eliman Dambel

Senior Market Analyst