The Week Ahead: Focus on under-pressure oil and gas sector

 

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The Independent Online

The under-pressure oil and gas sector will be in focus this week as a raft of producers and explorers update the market.

BG Group and BP have third-quarter results tomorrow, while Thursday sees management statements from troubled Middle Eastern and African focused operator Afren, Cairn Energy and Genel Energy.

Investors will want to hear from all how exactly collapsing oil prices have impacted their business and how they plan to guard against prices staying low. Afren shareholders will also be hoping for news on the search for a new chief executive and chief operating officer, after Osman Shahenshah and Shahid Ullah were both dismissed earlier this month for gross misconduct.

There’s no significant corporate news in the calendar today, but tomorrow brings finals from Utilitywise. Lloyds Banking Group will put out a third-quarter statement, with Numis predicting a £1.1bn pre-tax profit, compared to a loss of £221m a year earlier. Standard Chartered has a trading statement.

Plexus Holdings puts out full-year figures on Wednesday, half-year numbers will be published by Braemar Shipping Services and Stagecoach, Next has its third quarter trading update and Chilean mining giant Antofagasta puts out production figures. In economic news, household lending figures for September will be released, with Investec forecasting a dip in mortgage lending.

The US Federal Reserve will hold a policy meeting mid-week, with markets on both sides of the Atlantic watching closely to see whether the Fed will end its quantitative easing programme and if any more guidance on interest rates will be forthcoming.

Thursday sees half-year numbers from BT and third quarter results from Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and Smith & Nephew. Alumasc, Aviva, Barclays, Henderson, RPS and St James’s Place all have management statements due. Kazakhmys has a production report.

Asia Resource Minerals, Berendsen, Countrywide, Direct Line, Elementis and Royal Bank of Scotland all have management statements on Friday and advertising giant WPP has a trading update.

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