Weekly outlook: BoE set to hike interest rates once again

Key events for UK wealth managers for the week starting 8 May

Low angle view of Bank of England, Royal Exchange, and Duke of Wellington equestrian statue (1844) with skyscrapers and construction in background.

Monday 8 May

  • – German industrial production
  • – US mortgage delinquencies
  • – US Senior Loan Officer survey
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Finecobank, Deutsche Wohnen and Jungheinrich
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Berkshire Hathaway, PayPal, BioNTech, Tyson Foods, Palantir, Western Digital and Skyworks

Tuesday 9 May

  • – First-half results from Victrex
  • – Trading statements from Direct Line and TT Electronics
  • – British Retail Consortium UK retail sales data
  • – Halifax house price index
  • – US NFIB smaller companies survey
  • – In Japan, quarterly results from Nintendo and Rohm
  • – In the Middle East, quarterly results from Saudi Aramco
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Amadeus, Daimler Truck, Fresenius, Hochtief and Brembo
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Airbnb, Duke Energy, Electronics Arts, Rivian Automotive, Liberty Global, Coty, Fox and Warner Music

Wednesday 10 May

  • – Full-year results from Vertu Motors
  • – First-half results from Compass
  • – Trading updates from Melrose Industries, Dignity, JD Wetherspoon, Marshalls and TUI
  • – ASOS half-year results

On Wednesday, British fashion retailer ASOS will unveil its half-year results against the backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis. The firm, which was promoted to the FTSE 250 in June 2022, has seen its share price almost halve in the last 12 months.

Susannah Streeter, Hargreaves Lansdown head of money and markets, said: “ASOS has been battling a raft of short-term challenges and, with cost-of-living headwinds continuing to squeeze budgets, it may struggle to turn a significant corner in these results. However, conditions are improving with delivery challenges being overcome now that Royal Mail has reached agreement in principle with unions.

“ASOS has also been taking steps to trim costs by cutting excess stock levels, winding down storage facilities and reducing headcount. And investors will be keen to see whether these savings are on track to help the group return to profitability in the second half of the year.

“Poor weather dented sales on the high street in March but online sales were more resilient, which could bode well for the group’s performance, with shoppers overall a bit keener to spend than expected back in the Autumn. The breadth of its value ranges should also be an advantage when consumers want to splash a bit of cash but are still being careful. Investors will also want to see if new marketing strategies to drive growth in underperforming markets like the US are showing signs of paying off.”

  • – US inflation figures
  • – US Federal budget deficit
  • – US weekly oil inventories
  • – In Japan, quarterly results from Toyota Motors and Softbank
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Credit Agricole, AholdDelhaize, Vestas Wind Systems, E.ON, HeidelbergCement, Continental, Alstom and United Internet
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Walt Disney, Roblox, RobinHood and New York Times

Thursday 11 May

  • – Full-year results from 3i and IQE
  • – First-half results from Grainger
  • – Trading statements from Rolls-Royce, ITV, Wood Group and Airtel Africa
  • – Bank of England interest rates decision

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet on Thursday to consider its next move on interest rates. At its last meeting, rates were hiked another 25bps to 4.25%.

With inflation proving more stubborn than forecast, edging down to 10.1% in March, industry commentators are anticipating another 25bps rise at May’s meeting.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould and head of financial analysis Danni Hewson said: “The BoE is still fighting inflation on one hand and trying to support a fairly torpid – and heavily indebted – economy on the other.

“It will be doing this all while keeping an eye on financial stability, in the wake of Trussonomics and autumn’s gilt market turbulence, as well as the ongoing banking wobble in the US. Markets believe inflation is the priority, especially as it stands some five times higher than the BoE 2% target and unemployment is low.

“They are therefore pricing in a quarter-point rate rise at this meeting of the MPC to 4.5%, followed by another quarter in August and one more in September to take the base rate to 5%. That is expected to be the peak, with 0.25% rate cuts currently expected in February and March 2023.”

Speaking in April following the announcement of the UK’s latest inflation print, Aegon Asset Management fixed income manager James Lynch said the BoE would be under pressure to deliver another 25bps increase.

Looking further ahead, he added: “Longer term? The reality is the BoE cannot control food or energy prices, and should be forward looking on the inflation picture given the lags in which monetary policy works. Looking forward, there is nothing in here to suggest that inflation will not be a lot closer to 2% target come the end of the year than [March’s] double digit number.

“I would not jump to the conclusion that interest rates need to settle at a higher level in the long term off the back of this number. The fall in inflation should start in earnest next month as the energy base effects kick in and we could see a headline CPI number with a 7% handle.”

  • – UK construction, manufacturing and industrial output
  • – Chinese inflation figures
  • – US producer price (factory gate) inflation
  • – US weekly unemployment claims
  • – In Japan, quarterly results from Tokyo Electron, Takeda, Nissan Motors and Honda Motors
  • – In Asia, quarterly results from JD.com
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Deutsche Telekom, Merck, Bayer, Hapag-Lloyd, ING, RWE, Coloplast, Ferrovial, Pirelli and ThyssenKrupp
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Tapestry and Polestar Automotive

Friday 12 May

  • – Trading update from Balfour Beatty
  • – UK monthly GDP data
  • – German wholesale price inflation
  • – In Japan, quarterly results from NTT, Rakuten and Mazda Motors
  • – In Asia, quarterly results from Hon Hai Precision
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Allianz, Richemont and Société Générale
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Charles Schwab

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