Thursday will again see a steady flow of corporate announcements hit the tape, including the latest figures from Capita, Serco, Prudential, RSA, Morrison, Barratt Developments and Beazley.
Nevertheless, and in the background, what traders will be watching most closely is tomorrow´s meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). In a certain manner, and more so even than his peer at the European Central, Mario Draghi, Governor Carney is under certain pressure from the recent appreciation in sterling.
In fact, "Although sterling is now around its strongest level against the euro since last January, based on the relative outlook for monetary policy, we think it has further to rise," analysts at Capital Economics wrote on Wednesday to clients.
The ECB, however, has a more poignant problem in the form of the question marks which are still floating in the air regarding the sustainability, or not, of the debt load of several periphery countries, particularly Italy and Spain given their systemic importance.
Of late some economists have backed off from their previous expectations for quantitative easing in the Eurozone. Even so, the situation in those countries is still quite tricky for policy-makers, when not simply still downright dangerous.
In that regard, on Wednesday leading Spanish economist Emilio Ontiveros called on the ECB to act.
On the subject of the single currency, the central bank shouldn't be "obsessed" with the exchange rate, Ontiveros warned, but added: "it's madness trying to reduce foreign debt with an exchange rate
that is so far from any type of equilibrium".
Back on the corporate front, analysts at Numis expect the outsourcing outfit to say that it´s seen "a pick-up in activity levels". On a similarly positive note, the broker believes that, given the recent problems at Serco and G4S, Capita may well be able to sustain a 1 in 2 [contract] win rate.
Thursday May 8th
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Animalcare Group, Symphony International Holdings Ltd.
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Bloomberg Consumer Confidence (US) (14:45)
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
ECB Interest Rate (EU) (12:45)
Industrial Production (GER) (11:00)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
Barratt Developments, Beazley, Capita, IMI, Intu Properties, Intu Properties, Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets, Perform Group, Promethean World, Provident Financial, RSA Insurance Group, Serco Group
SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Symphony International Holdings Ltd.
Aberdeen Asian Income Fund Ltd., Afarak Group (DI), Arbuthnot Banking Group, Ashley (Laura) Holding, Avocet Mining, BlackRock World Mining Trust, British Polythene Industries, Cambridge Cognition Holdings, Charles Taylor, Cineworld Group, Golden Prospect Precious Metals Ltd., Howden Joinery Group, Hutchison China Meditech Ltd, IMI, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (Singapore Reg), Jardine Strategic Holdingd Ltd. (Singapore), Kazakhmys, Minera IRL Ltd., Morgan Sindall Group, Petards Group, Plant Health Care, Plus500 Ltd (DI), Premier Energy & Water Trust, Promethean World, Provident Financial, Resolution Ltd., Serco Group, Standard Chartered, Talvivaara Mining Company (CDI), Vitec Group, William Hill
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BoE Interest Rate Decision (12:00)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
British American Tobacco, Core VCT IV, Core VCT V, Downing Planned Exit VCT 8, Downing Planned Exit VCT 9, Pendragon
Afarak Group (DI), Avocet Mining, Bankers Petroleum Ltd.(CDI), Mood Media Corp. (DI), Randgold Resources Ltd.