Wednesday preview: Federal Reserve meeting, Dixon's Carphone in focus
The focus on Wednesday will be squarely on the US central bank with investors looking for validation of their expectations for up to three interest rate cuts over the remainder of 2019.
Policymakers on the Federal Open Market Committee are widely-expected to keep the target range for the Fed funds rate at between 2.25-2.50%, but according to some analysts there is room for disappointment given that financial markets have already priced-in two 25 basis point rate cuts by the end of 2019 and even odds of a third.
The policy announcement is scheduled for 1900 BST with Fed chair Jerome Powell's press conference set to follow half an hour later.
According to analysts at Barclays Research, the Fed will downgrade its assessment of business investment but not of the jobs market, even as it notes the decline in inflation expectations since early May.
They also anticipate that the FOMC will switch in its policy statement from refering to a "patient" approach when setting policy to favouring being "flexible" and with the so-called dot-plot graph now revealing that a few rate-setters were now expecting rate cuts, although the median projection will be unchanged.
Against that backdrop, at 0930 BST the Office for National Statistics will release its UK consumer price data for May, which in harmonised terms is expected to show a dip in the year-on-year rate of change for CPI from 2.0% to 1.9%.
Dixons Carphone is among the scant handful of corporates due to update financial markets on Wednesday.
Numis's Simon Bowler has penciled in full-year profits before tax of £307m, versus the company's own guidance for £300.0m in profits, exceptional cash flows of roughly £100.0m and £190.0m in capital outlays.
In particular, Bowler expects markets' focus to be on the company's trading momentum over the fourth quarter and outlook, including "qualitative" comments, especially for the mobile business.
On that last score, Bowler said: "Here we fear that further confirmation of profit and cash challenges to the mobile business could drag on sentiment, albeit we acknowledge that (at the point of writing) the shares have re-traced towards lows going into results."
Wednesday June 19
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