Week ahead: As February draws to a close the focus shifts back to the customary deluge of monthly economic numbers. On the data front, PMI readings from Wednesday will be closely watched. A host of Fed policymakers are due to speak,  which ought to drive some volatility in the US dollar as markets judge whether their remarks show the central bank is leaning towards hiking rates in March.

On the corporate front, annual results from several FTSE 100 companies are the highlight, while earnings season on Wall Street winds down for another quarter.

Trump’s speech


On Tuesday night Donald Trump will deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress. Among other things he’s expected to outline more details on overhauling Obamacare and his plans for radical shake up of taxation. Investors are betting big on fiscal policy being used to unleash growth with the Dow Jones coming into this week off the back of its best run in at least 25 years.



March kicks off with the usual round of manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices. TheFebruary figures take on added significance as markets look to see whether the pro-growth Trump trade has more legs in it. Last month’s data suggested the global economy is turning a lot more positive.

Japan’s factory growth surged to a three-year high, while China’s output growth hit its best level in two years.

The trend continued in Europe – France factory growth was close to a six-year high, while even Italy managed to record a healthy pace of expansion. German factory output growth was at its highest in three years.

The UK also got in on the action with the headline PMI rising to 55.9 in January, just shy of December’s two-and-a-half-year high. Output growth rose to a 32-month high but a 25-year high for input price highlights the impact of a weak pound and rising oil prices.


FTSE earnings


Earnings season on Wall Street is nearly wrapped up, but watch for results from retailers like Staples, Office Depot, Target and Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway.

There’s more in the UK to look forward to, with several FTSE firms in action. Outsourcers Bunzl and Capita; housebuilders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey;  and construction groups Costain and Carilllion will provide some clues about the state of investment confidence in the UK.

ITV, seen by many as a takeover target, will report on Wednesday with investors looking to see whether the tilt away from advertising revenues towards content has produced results.  Embattled Cobham, which recently reported its fifth profits warning in little over a year, gives its full-year results update on Thursday. WPP, the advertising giant due to report Friday – expect more discontent about Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay package as the shareholder spring is sure to gain attention.

Fed speakers


No Fed meeting but there is plenty of Fed-watching to be had with several policymakers in action likely to fuel speculation about whether the bank is preparing to raise rates at its March meeting.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard gives a presentation on the economy and monetary policy. Following this, Chicago Fed president Charles Evans and Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker will talk about inflation expectations and inflation dynamics in New York on Friday. Fed vice chair Stanley Fischer will be speaking at the same event. Meanwhile the Federal Reserve issues its Beige Book of economic conditions on Wednesday.

Economic Calendar

(All times GMT)

Monday, 27 February

08:00 – Spain flash CPI inflation

13:30 – US core durable goods orders

15:00 – US pending home sales

21:45 – New Zealand trade balance

Tuesday, 28 February

00:01 – UK GfK consumer confidence

07:00 – German retail sales

10:00 – Eurozone CPI flash estimate (Feb)

13:30 – US preliminary Q4 2016 GDP (2nd reading)

14:45 – Chicago PMI

15:00 – US CB consumer confidence

Wednesday, 1 March

00:30 – Australia Q4 2016 GDP reading

00:30 – Japan final manufacturing PMI

01:00 – China official manufacturing, non-manufacturing PMIs

01:45 – China Caixin manufacturing PMI

08:15 – Spanish manufacturing PMI

08:55 – German unemployment change

09:30 – UK manufacturing PMI, net lending to individuals, mortgage approvals

13:00 – German CPI inflation

13:30 – US core PCE price index, personal spending

15:00 – Bank of Canada rate statement

15:00 – US ISM manufacturing PMI

15:30 – US crude oil inventories

19:00 – Fed Beige Book

Thursday, 2 March

00:30 – Australia building approvals, trade balance

08:00 – Spain unemployment change

09:30 – UK construction PMI

13:30 – US weekly unemployment claims

23:30 – Japan household spending, CPI reports

Friday, 3 March

01:45 – China Caixin services PMI

09:00 – Eurozone final services PMI

09:30 – UK services PMI

Corporate Calendar


Monday, 27 February

Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK/A) – Q4/2016

Bunzl (BNZL) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 1.020

Trinity Mirror (TNI) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.362

Persimmon (PSN) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 1.956

Tuesday, 28 February

Target Corp (TGT) – Q4/2016, EPS estimate 1.518

Laird (LRD) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.143

St James’s Place – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.315

Taylor Wimpey TW) – Y/2016, EPS estimate

Fresnillo (FRES) – Y/2016

Wednesday, 1 March

Mylan (MYL) – Q4/2016, EPS estimate 1.425

Office Depot (ODP) – Q4/2016, EPS estimate 0.104

Admiral Group (ADM) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 1.100

Carillion (CLLN) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.342

Costain Group (COST) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.275

ITV (ITV) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.163

Thursday, 2 March

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) – Q4/2017, EPS estimate 0.746

Barnes & Noble (BKS) – Q3/2017, EPS estimate 1.153

Capita (CPI) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.622

Cobham (COB) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.053

Travis Perkins (TPK) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 1.225

Friday, 3 March

Staples (SPLS) – Q4/2017, EPS estimate 0.255

WPP (WPP) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 1.118

Source: Bloomberg

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