Friday preview: China coronavirus, Pearson in the spotlight
Financial markets' focus at the end of the week will likely continue to be on the news around the China coronavirus in South Korea and whether any new cases are reported in that country.
Until now, investors had drawn a degree of comfort from the fact that there were as of yet no established transmission mechanisms outside of China.
But if that changed, then market sentiment could take at least a temporary hit.
Against that backdrop, at 0930 GMT, survey compiler IHS Markit will release its manufacturing and services sector Purchasing Managers' Indices for the month of February, with the consensus anticipating a dip for both.
Also due out, in parallel, are public sector borrowing figures from the Office for National Statistics covering the month of January.
"Given the higher-than-expected government spending in Q4 19, we will be closely watching developments in public sector finance data going into the end of the financial year as the state of the UK’s public finances may influence the ability of the government to implement looser fiscal policies at the Budget," said analysts at Barclays.
Euro area PMIs scheduled for release at 0900 GMT will also be scrutinised, while in the States investors will be paying attention to existing home sales figures for January, alongside a flurry of speeches from top Fed officials.
Pearson will be in the spotlight at the end of the week as it releases its latest full-year numbers.
UBS analyst Adam Berlin expects the focus to be on greater detail as regards its guidance for the different units under its new business segmentation: US Higher Education Courseware, Distance Learning, Assessments, and Courseware.
That, Berlin said, should provide greater visibility on the profitability of each business.
The analyst was also expecting Pearson to provide more detail on its 2020 guidance for US Higher Education courseware and regarding the group's adjusted earnings before interest and taxes.
In its pre-close trading statement on 16 January, the education publisher had already provided readings on underlying sales growth, adjusted EBIT, earnings per share and 2020 guidance for the latter two.
Friday 21 February
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Livermore Investments Group Ltd.
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Primary Health Properties
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Consumer Price Index (EU) (10:00)
Existing Home Sales (US) (15:00)
Import Price Index (GER) (07:00)
SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Best of the Best, Oxford Technology 2 VCT
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
CBI Industrial Trends Surveys (11:00)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Chrysalis VCT, RWS Holdings, Stock Spirits Group , Titon Holdings, Urban&Civic , Victrex plc