Thursday preview: US CPI, M&S in the spotlight
All eyes on Thursday were expected to be on the latest US consumer price data.
Marks & Spencer Group
Consensus was that at 1330 GMT the Department of Labor would report a drop in the year-on-year rate of headline CPI gains from 7.1% in November to 6.6% for December.
At the core level meanwhile, CPI was seen dipping from 6.0% to 5.7%.
However, economists at Barclays Research had penciled in a sharper decline in headline CPI to 6.4%.
But first, overnight China's National Bureau of Statistics would release consumer and producer price data for December.
The annual rate of increase for the former was seen edging up from 1.6% in the month before to 1.8%, while the latter was expected to have risen from -1.3% to -0.1%.
In the UK meanwhile, Japan's Ministry of Finance would publish balance of payments data for November.
No major economic announcements were scheduled in the UK.
Across the Channel, investors would be analysing the contents of the European Central Bank's latest monthly bulletin.
Marks&Spencer was among the UK corporates due to update investors on third quarter trading on Wednesday.
The company's shares would go into the update near their mid-2022 highs, having bounced back from multi-year lows since October.
Worth noting, company management itself had identified the last quarter of each year as seasonally the strongest, although food sales had been expected to be challenging, as Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK pointed out.
Furthermore, its first half numbers had shown a 14% jump in general merchandise sales, so that they finally appeared to be "delivering the goods", Hewson added.
Costs saw an 8.4% rise over the half, although the hope was that the acquisition of Gist would offset some of that rise, especially in food.
"The hope is that new CEO Stuart Machin will be able to pick up where Rowe left off and complete the job," Hewson mused.
"So far, the signs look promising in what is set to be a challenging economic environment. In October M&S announced it would be speeding up the closure of some of its main stores, while opening more food halls. This process is expected to happen over the next 3 years, instead of the previous 5-year timeframe."
Thursday 12 January
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
3i Infrastructure, D4T4 Solutions, Michelmersh Brick Holdings, Octopus AIM VCT, Pittards, TR Property Inv Trust
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Amedeo Air Four Plus Limited Red Ord NPV, Ashtead Group, Foresight Group Holdings Limited NPV, SSE
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Duke Royalty Limited, GSK, Regional REIT Limited
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
BlackRock Latin American Inv Trust, Ecora Resources, JPMorgan Asia Growth & Income, Middlefield Canadian Income PCC, Primary Health Properties
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Consumer Price Index (US) (13:30)
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Alternative Liquidity Fund Limited, B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI), BlackRock Latin American Inv Trust, Majedie Investments
JPMorgan Japanese Inv Trust, Northern Venture Trust
ASOS, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Marks & Spencer Group, OMV Petrom S.A. GDR (REG S), Persimmon, Tesco, The Gym Group, Whitbread, Wood Group (John)
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Character Group, DotDigital Group, Focusrite, Majedie Investments, Origin Enterprises (CDI), Premier Miton Group, Schroder UK Mid Cap Fund, Smiths News