SUMMER may have arrived but the City should remain a lively place this week with a string of updates and economic news to keep traders on their toes.
Two important annual meetings will also take place, with boss Justin King stepping aside at Sainsbury’s and Marc Bolland attempting to convince Marks & Spencer shareholders that he is the right person to lead the retailer.
Little in the way of fireworks are expected from the Bank of England’s panel of rate-setters amid talk of a rise in interest rates later in the year.
• Taylor Wimpey – The first of several housebuilders to update this week, Taylor Wimpey is likely to have enjoyed further buoyant trading as the housing market recovers.
• Marks & Spencer – The run of lacklustre figures at Marks & Spencer is set to continue when it reports first-quarter trading in advance of its annual meeting. Analysts are expecting little from the clothing section but a booming food department may offer something to get their teeth into.
• Manufacturing output – Official figures from the industrial sector are expected to confirm the solid growth reported by recent surveys.
• Sainsbury’s – Outgoing chief executive Justin King makes his last report at the supermarket giant’s annual general meeting. During the last two quarters, the business has suffered like-for-like declines, albeit less dramatically than some of its competitors.
• Federal Reserve – Minutes of the Fed’s last meeting may show a debate emerging over interest rates, which had previously been expected to stay low for at least another year.
• SuperGroup – The Superdry owner will have to reassure the market about its plans for growth when it reports its full-year results after warning on profits two months ago. Brokers at Investec expect 2015 “to be a European roll-out story” and think the retailer will open more than the 100,000 square feet of retail space it plans to launch this year.
• Halfords – The retailer is expected to get the second year of its three-year turnaround plan off to a strong start when it reports its first-quarter trading. The car parts and bike firm has developed a strong cycle business on the back of the success of British sporting heroes such as Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton, and now expects to benefit from what it calls a “summer of cycling”.
• Bank of England – The monetary policy committee is not expected to take any action this month, but behind the closed doors the debate over when to start raising rates is likely to intensify.
• Construction output – The surveys showed the building sector softening a little in May after solid growth, but economists say that the blip may be smoothed out in the forthcoming official figures from the Office for National Statistics.