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Chinese slump means good news from the coal face

Debenhams pretax profits are expected to see a slump of more than a quarter after disappointing Christmas trading. Picture: Getty

Debenhams pretax profits are expected to see a slump of more than a quarter after disappointing Christmas trading. Picture: Getty

  • by DOMINIC JEFF
 

London’s heavyweight miners will this week give investors a glimpse of how they are shaping up in the face of waning Chinese growth prospects.

Giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are both due quarterly updates, with cost-cutting as much on the agenda as production figures.

Charles Stanley analyst Tom Gidley-Kitchin thinks the big firms are well placed.

“We believe that the new austerity-driven focus on cash flows will favour the quality stocks of BHP Billiton, Glencore Xstrata and Rio Tinto,” he said.

Official figures are set to show that average earnings, which were expected to have fallen further in March, are now growing faster than inflation for British workers.

WEEK AHEAD

Today

• Eurozone industry – Industrial production in the single currency block will likely make for unhappy reading.

Tomorrow

• Debenhams – After warning over poor Christmas trading, interim pre-tax profits are expected to slump by 29 per cent to £85 million.

• Rio Tinto – Rio exceeded most of its production guidance in 2013 and some analysts expect it to do the same in 2014.

• Inflation – The effect of a later Easter this year may yield an exceptionally low reading for the CPI.

Wednesday

• Tesco – Britain’s biggest supermarket chain is set for a slump in full-year profits.

• Unemployment – The latest set of figures are expected to show further improvement, with the jobless rate falling and wage growth gathering pace.

Thursday

• Diageo – The drinks giant’s update follows news that Scotch is losing ground in some markets.

Friday

• Good Friday – The London Stock Exchange will be closed for the annual holiday.

 

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