Week ahead in business and economics: October 28 – November 1

Week ahead in business and economics: October 28 – November 1

Week ahead in economics

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve takes its first interest rate decision since the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis was averted.

In September, the Fed surprised markets by deciding to press ahead with $ 85bn of quantitative easing every month. Demonstrating just how far expectations have since moved, it will come as a surprise if they do start tapering this month. The dampening effect the shutdown had on growth and lingering uncertainty over the debt ceiling have only strengthened the dove-ish resolve. Economists now expect tapering to begin in March.

In the UK, Bank of England mortgage approvals data is expected to confirm the revival in the housing market. An expected pick-up in approvals would imply much faster mortgage lending growth later on. The Bank will also publish money supply numbers, which are expected to demonstrate that the economy is continuing to recover.

Monday October 28

Full-year results None scheduled

Interim results None scheduled

Trading update Aggreko

Economics CBI distributive trades survey

Meetings Evocutis (EGM)

Tuesday October 29

BP is expected to reveal that its total bill for the Gulf of Mexico disaster has increased to more than $ 43bn (£27bn), as it reports that low refining margins have caused profits to slump as much as 37pc. The current bill for the Gulf disaster stands at $ 42.4bn and analysts at Deutsche say it could be increased by a further $ 1bn as a result of compensation claims.

Underlying profits, excluding one-off charges for the Gulf, are expected to be $ 3.17bn for the third quarter, from $ 5.02bn a year before. Analysts at RBC Capital Markets say profits from BP’s refining and marketing arm may have fallen by 75pc due to a sharp drop in US refining margins.

Lloyds Banking Group is expected to report a statutory pre-tax profit for the third quarter of about £800m as the lender’s results are hit by several one-off charges against recent loss-marking disposals. The results will mark the bank’s first since the state cut its holding from 39pc to 33pc in a £3.2bn share sale. The bank could announce a further provision against the mis-selling of PPI to customers. However, it is not expected to take more provisions against the compensation costs for victims of interest rate swap mis-selling.

Full-year results None scheduled

Interim results Braemar Shipping Services

Trading update BP, Dragon Oil, Glanbia, Lloyds Banking Group, Stagecoach Group, Standard Chartered, Wolfson Microelectronics

Economics September mortgage approvals, M4 money supply, US retail sales, US Conference Board consumer confidence

Meetings Expansys (AGM)

Wednesday October 30

All eyes will be on the performance of BT’s big sporting bet when it reports second-quarter results. It will be the first time investors have been granted a proper look at the impact of BT Sport, the company’s £450m per year investment to stop broadband customers defecting to BSkyB.

UBS warned last week that take-up appeared to be “weak” and BSkyB’s results showed no ill effects from the new competition, except in higher Premier League rights costs. Sport aside, figures from Ofcom last week pointed to good take-up of BT’s fibre broadband upgrade and the overall broadband market is seen as healthy.

The consensus is for revenues of £4.44bn, down slightly from £4.47bn a year ago. Pre-tax profit is expected to come in at £555m, in contrast to £608m last year, with the dip accounted for by launch costs for BT Sport.

Full-year results None scheduled

Interim results BT Group

Trading update Afren, Antofagasta, AstraZeneca, Avocet Mining, BG Group, Colt Group, Countrywide, Croda International, Henderson Group, National Express Group, Premier Foods, Royal Dutch Shell, RPS Group, Smith & Nephew

Economics UK October GfK consumer confidence survey, eurozone October inflation estimate

Meetings None scheduled

Thursday October 31

Full-year results Avacta Group, Debenhams

Interim results Bloomsbury Publishing, Stobart Group

Trading update AZ Electronic Materials, Go-Ahead Group, Inchcape, Kazakhmys, Segro, Shire, St James’s Place, Unilever, WPP

Economics Speech by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, CBI industrial trends

Meetings Archipelago Resources (EGM), Fiberweb (EGM), Thorntons (AGM)

Friday November 1

Full-year results None scheduled

Interim results None scheduled

Trading update Berendsen, Direct Line Insurance Group, DS Smith, F&C Asset Management, Meggitt, Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Economics UK October manufacturing PMI

Meetings Acal (EGM), Antisoma (AGM), Digital Barriers (EGM), Scancell

Finance News – Business news from the UK and world


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