With the markets settled at or near all-time highs, can those record levels withstand a glimpse at some fresh manufacturing data?
UK: Economic data to show impact of the coronavirus?
The FTSE was the black sheep of the major Western indices last week, shut out of the record peak party due to the weight of its commodity sector, and the pound’s post-Sajid Javid resignation gains (even if the currency did give a chunk back the day after).
Though the coronavirus is still a market preoccupation, it arguably doesn’t have the same grip on investors as it did when the outbreak first became headline news. The tricky thing about the illness, however, is that it can rapidly become THE defining story of a session somewhat out of nowhere. And until a successful treatment is procured, that’s likely to continue to be the case.
In terms of UK-specific news, there’s a fair amount on. Tuesday’s jobs report is expected to see wage growth slip from 3.2% to 3.1% month-on-month, but with Wednesday inflation reading forecast to leap from 1.3% to 1.7%. The retail sales on Thursday, meanwhile, are set for a huge swing from -0.6% to 0.7%, though those estimates can maybe be taken with a pinch of salt.
Arguably the most important numbers arrive on Friday: the flash manufacturing and services PMIs. The former is especially interesting, as it may reflect the impact of the coronavirus on the sector.
UK: Stocks to Watch
As for the corporate calendar, coronavirus comments can be expected from miners Glencore and BHP Group on Tuesday. There’re then statements from BAE Systems, Smith & Nephew and Hays on Thursday, before an update from Pearson on Friday.
US: A quiet start to the week
Set to track the same macro-concerns as the UK, the noteworthy domestic stuff in the US doesn’t start to arrive until mid-week, with the action delayed by Presidents’ Day on Monday.
Wednesday has the PPI readings alongside the Fed meeting minutes, while Thursday offers up the Philly Fed manufacturing index. Like in the UK, Friday then brings the potentially key flash manufacturing and services PMIs.
Eurozone: Economic sentiment figures
Over in the Eurozone, the ZEW economic sentiment figures on Tuesday may give an early indication of how analysts and investors are feeling regarding the coronavirus. That’s followed by the ECB meeting minutes on Thursday, and the flash manufacturing and services PMIs on Friday.
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