Thursday preview: Federal Reserve, UK retailers in focus
Barring surprises, the focus on Thursday will continue to be on the US central bank, with another raft of officials scheduled to take to the podium.
The heads of the Federal Reserve banks of Chicago and St. Louis, Charles Evans (voter) and James Bullard (voter), are set to deliver repeat performances, having already spoken during the previous session.
But this time around the will be joined Fed chairman, Jerome Powell (voter), the boss of the Richmond Fed, Thomas Barkin (voter) and Fed vice-chairman, Richard Clarida (voter).
Also due out, before the start of trading in London, are readings on Chinese consumer level and factory gate inflation for December, possibly alongside money supply figures from the People's Bank of China covering that same month.
A raft of retailers is set to update markets on Thursday, including Debenhams, Card Factory, Tesco and Marks&Spencer.
For the latter, analyst Simon Bowler at Numis said in a research report sent to clients that he is expecting the declines seen in its clothing arm over the first half to persist, but also for the food business, despite Christmas typically being quite a strong time of the year for the company.
Bowler expressed concern at the prospect for an accelerated deterioration in the brand equity of the food unit and of a slowing contribution from maturing space.
Combined, his forecast was for a 2% drop in the company's like-for-like sales, although that is probably more or less in line with management's own expectations, so he didn't anticipate any "material" revisions to their forecasts for profits before tax in fiscal year 2019.
Thursday January 10
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Alliance Pharma, Caledonia Investments, D4T4 Solutions, Intermediate Capital Group
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Amigo Holdings, QinetiQ Group, Workspace Group, XPS Pensions Group
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
GlaxoSmithKline, Total SA, XP Power Ltd. (DI)
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
BlackRock Latin American Inv Trust, BMO Private Equity Trust, JPMorgan Asian Investment Trust, JPMorgan Japan Smaller Companies Trust, Middlefield Canadian Income PCC, Primary Health Properties
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
New Homes Sales (US) (15:00)
Wholesales Inventories (US) (13:30)
Baring Emerging Europe
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
BHP Group, Seneca Growth Capital Vct
Debenhams, Unicorn AIM VCT
InnovaDerma, Marks&Spencer, Tesco, Card Factory
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
RICS Housing Market Survey (00:01)
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Baring Emerging Europe, Brewin Dolphin Holdings, DotDigital Group, Greencore Group, Henderson European Focus Trust, Income & Growth VCT , Majedie Investments, On The Beach Group , Paragon Banking Group, Stride Gaming, UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company, Unicorn AIM VCT , Urban&Civic , WH Smith