Markets to get food for thought

Greggs is scheduled to give a trading update today. Picture: PA
Greggs is scheduled to give a trading update today. Picture: PA
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With the City getting up to speed after the Christmas break, attention will focus on the big retailers to see how they fared over the festive season.

Sainsbury’s will be first out of the blocks on Wednesday, when the UK’s third-largest supermarket is expected to announce its fourth consecutive fall in quarterly like-for-like sales.

Embattled market leader Tesco follows suit on Thursday and is also tipped to unveil more sales declines as the likes of Aldi and Lidl continue to pile on the pressure. The same day brings an update from Marks & Spencer, which was forced to delay deliveries in the run-up to Christmas because of problems at its distribution centre.

Policymakers at the Bank of England gather to decide on interest rates, but many observers expect borrowing costs to remain on hold for the rest of the year, despite inflation remaining well below the 2 per cent target.

WEEK AHEAD

Today

• Greggs – A trading update is expected from the bakery chain, which last month reported strong sales growth.

Tomorrow

• CES – The International Consumer Electronics Show starts in Las Vegas.

Wednesday

• Sainsbury’s – The UK’s third–largest grocer kicks off the supermarket sector’s season for festive updates.

Thursday

• Tesco – A further fall in sales is forecast at the embattled supermarket giant.

• M&S – The group will reveal the extent of its online delivery woes.

• MPC – No change likely as policymakers gather for 2015’s first rate–setting meeting.

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