The Week Ahead: Economic policy makers in the spotlight


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The Independent Online

Economic policy makers will be in the spotlight this week, with the world’s three most powerful central bankers all facing up to politicians.

ECB head Mario Draghi kicks things off, appearing before the European Parliament today, with the bank’s latest package of stimulus measures under scrutiny.

US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will then present her semi-annual report to Congress on monetary policy tomorrow. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and his team will also appear before the Treasury Select Committee to be quizzed on the housing market and financial stability.

The trio will likely set the tone for the markets, with the tone of each deciding whether we see a return to growth for equity markets or a continued slump.

It’s a quiet day for corporate results today, with only recruiter SThree putting out a trading statement.

Tomorrow brings a trading statement from online gaming group, while under- pressure online advertising technology specialist Blinkx holds its AGM.

Marketing analytics business Ebiquity has its full-year numbers out midweek, while British Land, specialist medical group BTG, industrial belt manufacturer Fenner, FirstGroup, dealer broker ICAP, London Stock Exchange, Severn Trent and small business landlord Workspace all have half-year figures out. Supply chain manager Wincanton will have a trading update, while miners EVRAZ, Fresnillo and Rio Tinto will have production figures.

Discount sporting giant Sports Direct will publish its final results on Thursday, with the City predicting earnings before exceptional costs of £325m, compared to £288m a year earlier. Investors will be hoping for an update on what, if any, ambitions Mike Ashley’s retailer has in Europe.

Land Securities, SSE and publisher Euromoney will also update the market on trading, while London Mining and Anglo American have production reports.

Turning to Friday, it’s a quiet end to the week with just home shopping and educational supplies group Findel and currency manager Record updating the market.