U.S. indices were down for a second consecutive day, as data released showed that Private payrolls increased less than expected in February.
The ADP report showed that payrolls increased by 117,000 jobs last month, after rising by 195,000 in January.
With Non-Farm Payrolls set to be released on Friday, many had expected ADP figures to come in at 177,000 jobs for February, which would have boosted hopes of a strong jobs number this week.
Now markets await to see if this Friday’s jobs day could provide a better than expected result.
Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were down as of writing.
Rishi Sunak announces UK Budget
Britain Finance Minister Rishi Sunak today unveiled the country’s spring budget, with several notable inclusions.
One of the first takeaways was the fact that the Furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September.
This means that the government will continue paying 80% of employees’ wages for hours they cannot work, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sunak also confirmed that the tax-free threshold will be frozen at £12,570 from April 2021 levels to 2026.
This comes as corporate tax is set to increase by 25% from April 2023.
Regarding the changes he stated that, “First, we will continue doing whatever it takes to support the British people and businesses through this moment of crisis”.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.93%.
Oil Prices rise on Saudi cutback
Oil prices rebounded on Wednesday, as data showed that Saudi Arabia had cut oil production in February, by close to 1 million barrels a day.
Saudi cut production by 920,000 barrels a day last month, which is the biggest cut in output in eight months.
Overall production now stands at 24.87 million barrels a day, after the kingdom slashed its production by almost 11%.
OPEC+ will now meet on Thursday to discuss if further cuts are needed, as some in the cartel are still wary of oversupply whilst the pandemic still looms.
As of writing WTI Crude was trading at $61.63 per barrel.
Quote of the day – What’s the difference between a pro and an amateur? Professionals look for what’s wrong with a setup. Amateurs only look for what’s right.”– Mark Harila
Senior Market Analyst