Weekly outlook: ONS to reveal UK inflation numbers and Close Brothers report

Key events for UK wealth managers for the week starting 22 May

Abstract flag of the United Kingdom made up of multiple balls or plastic bubbles.

Monday 22 May

  • – Full-year results from Wincanton and Big Yellow
  • – Rightmove UK house price index
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Ryanair
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Zoom Video Communications

Tuesday 23 May

  • – Full-year results from RS Group and Cranswick
  • – First-half results from Topps Tiles, Watkin Jones and Avon Protection
  • – Flash purchasing managers’ indices from Japan, Asia, UK, EU and the US
  • – UK government borrowing figures
  • – US new housing sales
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Intuit, Agilent, Lowe’s and Toll Brothers

Wednesday 24 May

  • – Full-year results from Severn Trent, Marks & Spencer, Great Portland Estates, LondonMetric, C&C and N Brown
  • – First-half results from SSP Group
  • – Trading updates from Aviva, Kingfisher, Nvidia and Intertek
  • – Interest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
  • – ECB Financial Stability Report
  • – UK inflation figures for April

On Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics will release the latest data on UK inflation. In March, inflation ticked down to 10.1% from 10.4%, but proved more stubborn than forecast due to rising food prices.

Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, and Danni Hewson, AJ Bell head of financial analysis, said: “The Bank of England can print money, but it cannot print salad, bread, meat or cereals, and some will argue that increasing interest rates to cool inflation is to use a blunt tool, because the idea behind higher borrowing costs is to decrease demand for credit and decrease end-demand for goods and services.

“Everyone still has to eat, though, so this is a tickly issue. Although the Monetary Policy Committee will note with some concern how the rate of inflation as measured by the core CPI index, which excludes volatile items such as food, fuel, alcohol and tobacco, is stuck north of 6%.

“That is what is driving wage demands from workers, whether they are public or private sector, unionised or not, and policymakers’ key concern remains that wages rise and fuel demand stokes inflation, prompting more wage demand and ultimately creating the vicious spiral that bedevilled the 1970s and resulted in both inflation and interest rates going way above 10%, helped along the way by a couple of oil price shocks.”

  • – German Ifo economic survey
  • – Belgian Courbe Synthetique economic survey
  • – US weekly oil inventories
  • – Close Brothers trading statement

Also on Wednesday, Close Brothers Group is due to release its Q3 trading update. In its half-year results to the end of January, profits dropped by 90% as the group set aside a further £114.6m of impairment charges to cover loans from Novitas, the failed legal lending arm of the business.

Steve Clayton, Hargreaves Lansdown head of equity funds, said: “There is a lot riding on this trading statement. The group have been testing investors patience in recent quarters with an increasingly large write down being incurred against their Novitas lending division, now in run-off.

“At the same time, Winterflood, their market-making business, has been struggling to cope with a downturn in trading volumes. Close need to reassure that they have a better grip on both of these issues and that trading in the rest of the banking business and their asset management division is holding up robustly.”

  • – In Asia, quarterly results from Xiaomi
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Analog Devices, Splunk and Snowflake

Thursday 25 May

  • – Full-year results from Johnson Matthey, QinetiQ, United Utilities, Workspace, Pets at Home and Mediclinic
  • – Trading statements from Vanquis Banking, Henry Boot, Hill & Smith and Sabre Insurance
  • – US Q1 GDP growth
  • – US weekly unemployment claims
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Generali
  • – In the US, quarterly results from CostCo, Medtronic, Marvell Technology, Dollar Tree, HP Inc, BestBuy and Ralph Lauren
  • – In Asia, quarterly results from Meituan and Pinduoduo

Friday 26 May

  • – US durable goods orders
  • – US Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index

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