Thursday preview: Bank of England, Next in the spotlight
All eyes on Thursday will be on the Bank of England which is expected to hold fire on any changes to policy.
The market consensus is that members of the Monetary Policy Committee will unanimously decide to keep Bank Rate at 0.10% and the size of the Asset Purchase Facility at £895.0bn.
Barclays Research does expect them to factor in the better-than-expected turnout for first quarter gross domestic product into its already above-consensus forecasts.
"But, how much more can it upgrade without effectively preparing markets for early hikes?" Barclays mused out loud in a research note sent to clients on 30 April.
"We think the MPC will continue to tread carefully, balancing an optimistic narrative with historically high uncertainties."
Also due out on Thursday is a final reading on IHS Markit's closely-followed UK services sector Purchasing Managers' Index for April.
Stateside, the focus will be on the latest weekly jobless claims data, although investors may opt to sit on their hands ahead of the all-important monthly tally for non-farm payrolls due out on the next day.
Across the Channel, the European Central Bank is due to publish its monthly bulletin at 0900 BST, just as the central bank of Norway announces its interest rate decision.
Consensus for the latter is no change.
ECB vice-president, Luis De Guindos meanwhile will take to the podium at 11:30 BST, followed by his fellow governing council member, Isabel Schnabel at 11:45 BST.
In the corporate space meanwhile, Next will be in focus as it delivers its first quarter update.
To take note of, in the case of Next, the Covid-19 pandemic simply added impetus to the transition towards digital that was already underway at the fashion retailer, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
Indeed, little over a month ago the company raised its full-year guidance for pre-tax profits to £700m, with its shares hitting a record high in April.
That also meant that market expectations going into the firm's update were "quite high", Hewson explained.
Nevertheless, "if the recent optics of queues outside reopened stores are any guide" then Next may indeed upgrade its guidance for sales growth.
The company may also have to navigate scrutiny of its boss's pay, which has reportedly risen by 28% over the past 12 months.
"While this is good news it could also raise some eyebrows given that Next has been in receipt of a significant amount of government help in the form of the job retention scheme, perhaps raising the pressure on it to return some of the money in the same way as some of its retail peers have done."
Thursday 06 May
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
AB Dynamics, BlackRock Greater Europe Inv Trust, James Halstead, Lok'n Store Group, Smart (J) & Co.
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
BlackRock World Mining Trust
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
BP, Chenavari Toro Income Fund Limited NPV
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
Factory Orders (GER) (07:00)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
Retail Sales (EU) (10:00)
Amiad Water Systems Ltd, SDIC Power Holdings Co.,Ltd GDR (Reg S)
AIB Group (CDI), Avast, Aviva, BAE Systems, Costain Group, Elecosoft Public Limited Company, EMIS Group, Genel Energy, Getbusy, Glanbia (CDI), Howden Joinery Group, IMI, Indivior, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (Singapore Reg), John Laing Group , Jupiter Fund Management , Jupiter Fund Management , Melrose Industries, Mincon Group (CDI), Mondi, Morgan Advanced Materials , Morgan Sindall Group, Quixant, Rathbone Brothers, Reach, Scotgems, Transgloble Energy Corporation NPV (DI), Vitec Group
AIB Group (CDI), Barratt Developments, Derwent London, Equiniti Group , Hansard Global, Mondi
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BoE Interest Rate Decision (12:00)
PMI Services (09:30)
RICS Housing Market Survey (00:01)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Nichols, Schroders, Schroders (Non-Voting)
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Admiral Group, Aptitude Software Group , Croda International, Curtis Banks Group, Gresham House, Harworth Group, Headlam Group, Hochschild Mining, Lancashire Holdings Limited, LLoyds Banking Group 9.25% Non-Cum Irredeemable Pref Shares, LLoyds Banking Group 9.75% Non-Cum Irredeemable Pref Shares, North American Income Trust (The), Ormonde Mining (CDI), Polymetal International, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Robert Walters, SThree, Strix Group , Zotefoams
Bank Pekao SA GDS (Reg S), Kosmos Energy (DI)