Early Morning Call: Will the FTSE 100 climb to new highs this week?
After gains on Wall Street on Friday, Europe is expected up although US stocks will be out today because of Presidents' Day.
Central banks take centre stage this week.
In China, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) kept Loan Prime Rates (LPR) unchanged for a sixth straight month. The one-year and five-year LPR remain at 3.65% and 4.3% respectively.
Tuesday will bring more detail from the Australian central bank when the minutes are released from the last meeting at which the authorities raised rates by 0.25% to 3.35%.
On Wednesday, New Zealand's RBNZ is expected to raise a further 50-basis points (bp) to 4.75%.
Federal Reserve (Fed) minutes are expected on Wednesday 1 March, from the last meeting at which the US central bank raised rates 25-bp to between 4.5 to 4.75%. The report will highlight the voting and despite a unanimous vote for a 25-bp rise in the Fed funds rate, non-voting members such as Bullard and Mester favoured a 50 bp hike.
James Bullard's speech last week saw him suggest he believes that 50-bp is still needed at the March meeting.
In the UK, the Rightmove house price index was almost flat in February compared to January. To be precise, the average asking price rose by £14, a surprising number considering February usually sees a big seasonal increase. It was the smallest February rise on record. Year-on-year (YoY), asking prices rose 3.9%.
Rightmove said the minimal increase - effectively zero in percentage terms - suggested that property sellers were heeding advice to price their homes realistically in order to sell them into a market which has slowed sharply in recent months.
At 3pm, Eurozone consumer confidence flash is expected to rise to -19 in February, after -20.9 the previous month.
Elsewhere on the equity market, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp owner Meta will launch a paid subscription service, costing $14.99, that will allow Facebook and Instagram users to verify their accounts. The new feature, called Meta Verified, lets users obtain a 'blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts and get direct access to customer support'. It will cost $11.99 for web access or $14.99 a month on Apple's iOS operating system and on Android.
FT says that Meta Verified will be rolled out first in Australia and New Zealand this week.
After Barclays and NatWest fell short of investors' expectations last week on earnings and Standard Chartered impressed, this week it's the turn of HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group to report, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
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