INTERIM results from some of Britain’s biggest housebuilders could help the market keep its momentum this week.
The headline numbers should be looking pretty good, as higher average prices weigh in alongside big rises in year-on-year completions.
The London market bounced strongly last week and the FTSE 100 is back in the range it has inhabited for most of the year, and any indication that the housing market is picking up further will provide a boost.
However, it is geopolitical factors that have driven traders of late, and surveys from the Continent will give a clue as to how badly European firms have been hit by the tensions with Russia.
• Bovis Homes – With completions up 54 per cent on a double-digit rise in the average sale price, investors will be looking forward to the builder’s interim numbers.
• Inflation – After the consumer prices index jumped unexpectedly in June, economists feel it more than likely fell back to 1.8 per cent in July.
• Persimmon – The house builder is expected to report that interim profits are up by almost half, as it sold more homes and raised prices, though the profits rise will be much smaller compared to the previous six months.
• Wood Group – The Aberdeen-based firm has already guided towards a second half improvement due to slower-than-expected progress at its turbines joint venture, so the City will be keen to see evidence that the business is firing up.
• MPC minutes – Some economists felt that Bank of England governor Mark Carney dropped a hint that rate setters were split at their last meeting. The minutes will also give a clue as to how the August inflation report was received.
• Eurozone – The latest purchasing managers’ indices will give an early clue as to the effect on European businesses of the stand-off and partial trade war with Russia.
• Retail sales – Official figures for July should paint a brighter picture than recent surveys, as they are volumes based and will therefore be unnafected by shop price deflation issues.
• Aga Rangemaster – Numis expects the group behind the distinctive ovens to swing to a pre-tax profit of £2.3m for the half-year.