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Eurozone crisis live: US job figures could dent optimism

• Eurozone retail figures out at 10am expected to show fall
US jobs data at 1.30pm
Today’s agenda
• Live blogging now @MartinFarrer

8.54am: The Hungarian airline Malev has gone bust, it has been announced this morning, in the latest symptom of the country’s economic crisis. Malev, which has debts of £180m, says its has ceased operations and grounded all its flights to “minimize damage” after its financial situation became unsustainable.

It is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance which also includes American Airlines and British Airways, but made a loss of £75m in 2010.

It stopped all its flights as of 0500 GMT today, Reuters reports. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on state radio that two Malev planes are still abroad – one in Tel Aviv, the other in Ireland.

8.25am: The market has opened pretty flat this morning with the FTSE100 currently down 1.7 points. Asian markets were similarly subdued overnight with the consensus being that traders are waiting for the US jobs figures at 1.30pm. Some 200,000 jobs were added in December so the January figures are unlikely to be repeated with forecasts in the 150,000 region and the overall unemployment rate expected to remain at 8.5%.

Even so, if Alex Ferguson was a US political commentator he would undoubtedly be saying that it’s squeaky bum time for President Obama. Or maybe squeaky ass time, if we’re talking American. (Wouldn’t sound right from Ferguson though would it?)

Anyway, let’s say it will be closely watched by the White House where Obama’s re-election hopes rest squarely with the performance of the economy.

8.05am: We’re all set for another day in the life of the eurozone crisis and here are the main events in and around that today:

• First we’re expecting numbers on the services sector in Italy, Germany and others with the latest PMI surveys out shortly before 9am
• Eurozone retail sales due at 10am and expected to be poor.
• UK services PMI out at 9.30am.
• And the markets will be waiting keenly for US jobs data in the form of non-farm payrolls at 1.30pm.
• Finally we’ll still be waiting for any news on what haircut Greece’s private creditors will have to take.

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