Following a dip in unemployment and continuing signs of a strengthening recovery, minutes of the monetary policy committee’s April meeting will be scoured for signs that the hawks are growing restless.
Over the pond, the US reporting season is in full swing and an array of big name firms will be updating Wall Street.
Apple and Facebook will be closely watched, along with McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble and Caterpillar – individual firms might not move the London market, but any sign that overall momentum is waning would inevitably weigh on sentiment.
• McDonald’s – The fast-food giant is the latest US firm to update investors on first quarter trading, and will reveal the effects of a battle with rivals over American breakfast customers.
• MPC minutes – Members of the Bank of England’s policymaking committee are likely to have voted as one at the April meeting, but the minutes may reveal a debate over forward guidance.
• STV – The broadcaster’s annual general meeting comes after it quit the CBI amid concerns that the body’s stand against Scottish independence would compromise its political neutrality. The firm will also update investors on its recent trading.
• Sports Direct – The group’s dominant position in the sportswear market should help it report further sales growth and smooth relations between majority owner Mike Ashley and other shareholders.
• Aggreko – Rupert Soames will step down at the agm as chief executive of the temporary power firm (see Spotlight).
• AstraZeneca– Interim results will be eclipsed by any clues as to possible tie up talks with US rival Pfizer.
• Genting Club – The casino in Fountainpark, Edinburgh, holds a press preview for its £1.5 million refurbishment, which includes a new restaurant and food from suppliers such as Henderson’s and Direct Seafood Ltd.
• Retail sales – Official figures are expected to show that sales volumes fell slightly in March due to the impact of the late Easter, but the overall trend is likely to remain positive.