Weekly outlook: Draghi’s last ECB meeting; UK banks report; PMI data

The key events for UK wealth managers for the week starting 21 October

Mario Draghi ECB

Reaction to the outcome of Saturday’s crucial vote in Parliament on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will no doubt capture the lion’s share of attention of most people, let alone wealth managers, in the week commencing 21 October.

However, elsewhere European Central Bank president Mario Draghi leads his final policy meeting before Christine Lagarde takes the helm and two of the UK’s big banks report results. There is also expected to be UK public sector borrowing figures as well as services and manufacturing PMI data from Germany and the US, respectively.

Monday 21 October

– Mattioli Woods AGM

Tuesday 22 October

– US existing home sales (September)

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management investment manager Dan Smith said the US housing market has been enjoying a summer revival with sales of existing homes reaching a 17-month high in August. This has been driven by declining mortgage rates, low rates of unemployment and high levels of consumer confidence.

“Given how important a healthy housing market is to consumer spending and a growing economy, investors will be hoping for more positive news from September’s home sales this week,” he added.

– UK public sector net borrowing

– CBI industrial trends survey

– Reckitt Benckiser and Anglo American trading announcements

– Whitbread interim results

– German preliminary IHS Markit service sector PMI

Smith said: “If we see further declines in the preliminary service sector confidence readings for October this week, expect the gloomy forecasts for the German economy to darken further.”

– US preliminary IHS Markit manufacturing PMI

Wednesday 23 October

– US crude oil inventories

– Harbourvest Global Private Equity interim results

 Thursday 24 October

-ECB interest rate decision

The ECB’s latest policy meeting is the last under the presidency of Mario Draghi before Christine Lagarde takes the reins on 1 November.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould noted after the last meeting, Germany’s Sabine Lautenschläger resigned in protest and it seems that the board was far from unanimous in the policy move, despite Draghi’s statement to the contrary.

“More and more questions are being asked about monetary policy and why should negative interest rates and QE stoke both economic growth and inflation now? They have, by and large, failed to do so in the West for the last 10 years and in Japan for the last 25.”

– US initial jobless claims

– RBS trading announcement

– Astrazeneca Q3 results

– FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey’s annual Mansion House speech

Friday 25 October

– Barclays Q3 results

Mould said the furore around the intervention of activist Edward Bramson over the role of Barclays’ investment bank appears to have passed, for now at least, and the company has already confessed that it will take a further provision for compensation payments related to payment protection insurance.

“The cost will be somewhere between £1.2bn and £1.6bn, on top of the £9.6bn already taken. That will knock a fair hole in the third-quarter result, as in Q3 2018 Barclays recorded a pre-tax profit of £1.46bn,” he added.



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