Thursday preview: Apple, Royal Dutch Shell in focus
The market focus on Thursday will shift back to the latest earnings updates from US technology giants with Apple and Facebook both due to report after the close of trading on Wednesday.
For Apple's fiscal second quarter results, the analyst consensus is for earnings per share of 98 cents on sales of around $77.0bn.
Above all, investors will be watching to see if the hardware giant can repeat the prior quarter's trick, when it beat consensus by a mile, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
Uptake of its new Apple One subscriptions - and hence its ability to compete with Amazon Prime - is also likely to be closely scrutinised.
Guidance, as ever, will also be of great importance, but this time around even more so, given plans to launch several new products, such as a new iPad Pro, an iPad Mini, a new iMac and its new 'AirTag' Blutetooth tracking devices.
On this side of the Pond meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell has its work cut out for it when it reports on first quarter trading, said Michael Hewson, according to Hewson.
Its full-year results, which were published in February, fell shore of shareholders' expectations, with production volumes and free cash flow down and net debt up.
The share price responded in kind with only modest gains since then.
Shell was also under pressure to do more in terms of shifting away from hydrocarbons and towards renewables, Hewson said.
"Its recent climate plan received significant pushback from some shareholders who said it doesn’t go far enough," Hewson said.
"One also has to question the reasoning of raising the dividend by 4%, while at the same time cutting back on capex. It’s all very well trying to keep shareholders sweet in the short term, but when cash flow is tight and demand is difficult, there must be a better use of that cash."
US Q1 GDP print due out
When it comes to economic reports, markets will focus on a preliminary reading for US gross domestic product in the first quarter, which is expected to come in at a bumper 6.5% in quarterly and annualised terms.
In the euro area, German unemployment data for April are scheduled for release at 0855 BST, alongside M3 money supply for the bloc referencing that same month at 0900 BST.
No major economic releases are scheduled in the UK.
Thursday 29 April
C4X Discovery Holdings , Proactis Holdings, WH Smith
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Northamber, Royal Bank of Scotland 11% Cum. Prf, Royal Bank of Scotland 5.5% Cum. Prf., Seneca Growth Capital Vct B
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Blackrock North American Income Trust
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City of London Inv Trust, JPMorgan Claverhouse Inv Trust, SME Credit Realisation Fund Limited NPV, Tufton Oceanic Assets Limited NPV
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Consumer Confidence (EU) (10:00)
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
Economic Sentiment Indicator (EU) (10:00)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
M3 Money Supply (EU) (09:00)
Pending Homes Sales (US) (15:00)
Services Sentiment (EU) (10:00)
Unemployment Rate (GER) (08:55)
Angle, RTW Venture Fund Limited NPV, Shield Therapeutics, Woodbois Limited, Xeros Technology Group
Fondul Proprietatea S.A. GDR (Reg S), Mail.ru Group Ltd GDR (Reg S), RTW Venture Fund Limited NPV, Societatea Energetica Electrica SA GDR (Reg S)
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Invesco Enhanced Income Limited, John Laing Group
Allianz Technology Trust, BlackRock World Mining Trust, CRH (CDI), Dalata Hotel Group (CDI), Devro, Flutter Entertainment (CDI), Glencore , Globaltrans Investment GDR (Reg S), Greencoat Renewables (CDI), Hawkwing, International Personal Finance, ITV, Kaz Minerals , Kaz Minerals , Kerry Group 'A' Shares (CDI), Meggitt, Novolipetsk Steel GDS (Reg S), Octopus AIM VCT 2, PJSC LSR Group GDR (REG S), Schroders, STV Group, Synthomer, Weir Group, Yamana Gold Inc. NPV (CDI)
Convatec Group , Evraz, Flutter Entertainment (CDI), Howden Joinery Group, Inchcape, Lancashire Holdings Limited, Meggitt, Schroders, Smith & Nephew, Unilever
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Nationwide House Price Index (07:00)
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CLS Holdings, Smart Metering Systems
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AVI Japan Opportunity Trust , Banco Santander S.A., Central Asia Metals, Coats Group, Derwent London, Henry Boot, HGCapital Trust, John Laing Group , London Stock Exchange Group, Morgan Advanced Materials , Morgan Sindall Group, Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) , Octopus AIM VCT 2, Porvair, Relx plc, Rightmove, Sanne Group, Total Produce (CDI), TT Electronics
Indivior, NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P, Nokia OYJ, Nokia OYJ, Royal Dutch Shell 'A', Royal Dutch Shell 'B'