The Week Ahead: Traders spooked by inflation but Tesco stays in good spirits

Investors will be searching for clarity on the state of the global economy this week as data from both sides of the Atlantic sets the tone.

The markets have become increasingly spooked by inflation concerns, particularly following Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's cautionary comments last week. Investec economist Philip Shaw says the current situation offers "a very mixed picture", adding: "The focus is going to be on the economic figures. It's going to be a busy week for indicators."

The most important data for the US will be the inflation figures due out on Wednesday. Market watchers believe these will spell out a need for a further interest rate rise at the end of the month.

Britain's inflation figures come out on Tuesday, and there will also be inflation data across the eurozone. And this weekend the market will be digesting any comments made on oil and the high cost of crude at the meeting of the G8 group of developed countries.

As for corporate news, the focus will be on a number of trading statements from market heavyweights such as Tesco, Alliance & Leicester and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Tesco is expected to unveil a first-quarter 4.5 per cent rise in like-for-like sales and a 7.5 per cent rise in total sales, according to Williams de Broë retail analyst Freddie George. Overseas sales are likely to continue to power ahead, rising around 25 per cent.

The statements from Alliance & Leicester and Royal Bank of Scotland will be scrutinised to see whether the cycle of bad debts has bottomed out, says Morley Fund Management analyst Neil Wesley. The market will also be looking for any commentary from A&L on takeover speculation, after Crédit Agricole was recently named as a potential suitor.

Overseas, the Wall Street investment banking giants Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs are both reporting figures, as is their smaller rival Bear Stearns.

Staying with financial services, Standard Life is set to release its prospectus on Thursday after gaining court approval for a planned demutualisation last week. However, some analysts believe that it may have to reduce the price of its float given the current volatility in the markets and the life insurance industry's recent lacklustre performance. Standard Life initially indicated that it was looking to price its offer between £2.40 and £2.90.

Although some companies have pulled their floations in the face of volatile markets, Standard Life is expected to go ahead with its plans.

Another big deal preoccupying the market at the moment is the battle for control of the Luxembourg-based steel giant Arcelor. Its board will meet today to consider a revised €25bn (£17bn) bid from the billionaire Lakshmi Mittal's rival group Mittal, after the two parties met for the first time late last week. An announcement could come today, though most observers believe tomorrow is more likely.

Mittal wants investors to reject Arcelor's plans to buy Russia's Severstal, which recently entered the fray as a white knight.

Elsewhere, Whitbread, which owns Premier Travel Inns and Costa Coffee, is set to update investors on trading at its annual general meeting on Tuesday. The only division expected to be in positive territory is Premier Travel, which is tipped to be up 5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Last Friday the group set an end-of-June deadline for the sale of its pubs.

While retailers and hospitality groups are expected to benefit greatly from the World Cup, not everyone will share in the spoils. For example, both MyTravel and First Choice Holidays are set to unveil their interim results, but the City will be most interested in how their summer sales are faring - generally the time when travel firms make most of their money.

However, some believe that holiday operators will be hit as people choose to stay at home, and in front of their TVs, for the next month.

First Choice is tipped to deliver an adjusted pre-tax loss of £80.8m for the first half.

Among smaller caps, the property comapny Grainger Trust is expected to provide some insight into the strength of the residential market when it unveils its interim results on Tuesday. Investors will be looking for confirmation that modest growth in the market has continued.

Fellow property groups Workspace and London Merchant will provide final results, although in this case their figures will reflect on the non-residential market.

Workspace, which rents out office space to 4,000 small and medium-sized businesses, is expected to deliver an adjusted pre-tax profit of £14.7m - slightly up from the £14.5m delivered in the previous year.

CALENDAR

Tomorrow 12

UK RESULTS: (final) Carclo, Hyder Consulting, IFX, Latchways, London Merchant, Workspace, (interim) Civica

Tuesday 13

UK RESULTS: (F) CML Microsystems, Oxford Instruments, Patientline, Ten Alps, William Ransom & Son; (I) ATH Resources, Pursuit Dynamics, First Choice Holidays, Grainger Trust

Wednesday 14

UK RESULTS: (F) Accident Exchange, Celsis International, Ensor, London Asia Capital

Thursday 15

UK RESULTS: (F) Chamberlin & Hill, New Avesco, (I) MyTravel, OMG

Friday 16

UK RESULTS: None scheduled

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?