The week ahead

A look ahead to the major events, economic releases and company news expected next week.

At the time of writing the FTSE 100 is on track for five consecutive days of gains. We have seen it surge beyond 6800 for the first time since the beginning of March, buoyed by bid talk in the pharmaceutical sector. As we look ahead, eurozone services PMIs and the Bank of England meeting next week are the important dates to look out for.

It was a busy week for economic data, with a shocking 0.1% print in US GDP; well below expectations. However, Friday's NFP number was the exact opposite, coming in far ahead of forecasts at 288,000. The US has many problems in its economy, but job growth at least appears to be bouncing back.

Economic reports


China HSBC Final Manufacturing PMI, April (2.45am): The flash number showed stabilisation in Chinese manufacturing at 48.3 in April up from 48.0 in March. The final survey result is expected to fall to 48.0. Market to watch: Copper

EU economic forecasts (10am): This report covers all EU states and forecasts 180 variables including growth over the next two years. Market to watch: EUR/USD

US ISM Non-manufacturing PMI, April (3pm): A mild improvement is expected here with industry expansion set to continue. The print expected is 54.3. Market to watch: Dollar crosses


Australian Trade Balance, April; Cash Rate decision (2.30am): A small decline to AU$1.04 billion in the trade surplus is expected, down from last month’s AU$1.2 billion. This would mark the fourth consecutive positive month. No change expected in cash rate, to remain at 2.5%. Market to watch: Aussie crosses

Italian and Spanish Services PMI, April (8.15am): Both are expected to see improvement on the March number, at 51.2 and 54.3 respectively. Market to watch: EUR/USD

UK Services PMI, April (9.30am): A strong number is expected here once again, with a marginal increase to 57.9 from March’s 57.6. Market to watch: Sterling crosses, GBP/USD


German factory orders, April (7am): A leading indicator of production, a smaller rise is expected this month. 0.5% against the 0.6% rise in March. Market to watch: EUR/USD, DAX

FOMC Chair Janet Yellen to testify before US Congress, 3pm onwards: The prepared statement may give clues to interest rate hike decisions. The Q&A session will be more informative.  Market to watch: Everything (dollar crosses particularly)


BoE Asset purchase facility and rate statement (12pm): No change in monetary policy is expected at this point. Rate to remain at 0.5%. Market to watch: GBP/USD

ECB rate decision (12.45pm) and press conference (1.30pm): The highlight of the week. Low inflation levels and high euro FX rates. No change to interest rate expected but we may see some near-term stimulus alluded to in Mario Draghi’s statement. Market to watch: EUR/USD


UK manufacturing production, April (9.30am): The UK economic recovery may not be balanced but a small rise of 0.4% is expected in the sector this month. Market to watch: GBP/USD

US JOLTS Job openings, April (3pm): The number of job openings during the reported month and one of Janet Yellen’s favoured metrics. A rise to 4.21 million is expected now. Market to watch: EUR/USD, equity indices


Company announcements


Pfizer, AIG


Barclays, Aberdeen Asset Management, Walt Disney


Experian, Imperial Tobacco, HSBC, Sainsbury's, Mondelez, Tesla


Randgold Resources, Sage Group, BT, Nvidia


International Consolidated Air (IAG), News Corp


The most high profile earnings next week will be Tesla, after a stratospheric rise in the share price over the past twelve months. As discussed, earnings will have to be fairly impressive if the stock is to avoid further losses.

(All times London time)

Here is a list of US stocks that can also be traded outside New York Stock Exchange trading hours of 2.30pm to 9pm.

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