Rogue Trader: The week ahead ...

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The Independent Online

Lots of dull companies reporting today - the exception being T&S stores, the 24-hour retail chain. The minimum wage and working-time directives could cause a few problems. But any business catering for the sudden urge for fags and Mars bars in the middle of the night has got to be fundamentally sound. Also it's London Fashion Week. So wear a bag on your head. The Liberal Democrats flee to Harrogate, the fashion capital of the North, where their David Steel-style two-tone shirts will not be so viciously mocked.


Tesco interims. Shares have wobbled in the face of the Wal-Mart-Asda juggernaut. On the other hand, one-time arch enemy Sainsbury's has blown it, and the stores have been upgraded so as to more effectively hypnotise the punters into painlessly handing over their increasingly easily earned electronic cash. US balance of trade. Expect the usual unfeasibly huge gap. And it does not even include all the dollars flooding out of the country to pay for drugs, etc. How do they keep getting away with it?


UK balance of payments and economic growth. Happy days are here again - just in time for the Labour Party conference. Commonwealth finance ministers meet in the Cayman Islands - where else.


Amstrad finals. The deconstructed consumer electronics firm was hit with a massive compensation bill last year, for defective disk-drives supplied in the 1980s when it was run by Alan Sugar. He moved on to Tottenham Hotspur where, as always, he prospers. Amstrad is now marketing a combined mobile phone-hand held computer: I used a prototype to calculate the company's p/e ratio, which - unless I pressed the wrong buttons - came out as 864,239,754,321.


London Fashion week ends. It's safe to walk the streets again.