The week ahead: AGMs, Brexit debates and financial results

calendarThis week is set to be an eventful one with events ranging from government Brexit debates, 11 sets of FTSE 100 company results, five key AGMs, and the latest UK CPI and labour statistics.

Fund Strategy looks at some key events shaping the week and what to expect.

Monday 16 May

  • British Land annual results
  • Crest Nicholson trading update

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalaf says the results will give us another insight into the health of the house building sector but he suggests Brexit fears could have hit the results, having recently led to Crest Nicholson’s share price dropping.

He adds: “It is a good time for house builders at the moment where you can buy land at a great price and benefit from the help-to-buy scheme.”

  • EU referendum – Electoral Commission booklet to be sent to households

The Electoral Commission will send its “impartial information booklet” on the EU referendum to 28 million households in the UK.

The booklet will contain information on who can vote, how to register to vote, the actual question to be used in the referendum, as well as a page for each of the lead campaign groups.

  • EU referendum debate – Caroline Lucas and Chris Grayling at Chatham House

Chatham House will host a debate among four senior UK politicians two in favour of leaving and two arguing that Britain should remain.

The speakers will be Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Labour Party MP and shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn who will discuss their Remain views.

In the other corner of the ring will be Chris Grayling, Conservative Party MP and leader of the House of Commons, and Suzanne Evans, deputy chairperson at UKIP.

Tuesday 17 May

  • ONS Consumer Price Indices for April

Khalaf says the new CPI number is going to be an “interesting” one to look at because in April the UK has seen inflationary pressures with the price of fuel and food increasing.

The latest figures, released in April, showed CPI rose by 0.5 per cent in the year to March 2016, compared with a 0.3 per cent rise in the year to February.

Khalaf says: “No one expects inflation to rise but we might have an uptick.”

  • Standard Life AGM

Another one that is likely to face scrutiny over executive pay. However, Standard Life’s recently appointed chief executive Keith Skeoch has opted to take a cut to his bonus ahead of the company’s AGM this week, which will see his bonus potential cut by a fifth.

  • Land Securities Group annual results

Wednesday 18 May

  • Bank of England UK Labour Market Statistics

Khalaf says: “The employment figures will stay around where they are now but we need to look at wage growth – one of the key measures the Bank of England will look at for rates”

  • Japan GDP Q1 (preliminary)
  • AGM: Jupiter, Prudential

“Prudential was the second worst share performer for insurers year to date,” says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

The UK insurer has suffered a 20 per cent share price fall over the past 12 months.

Mould says: “It will be interesting to see how low interest rates impacted its business model and hopefully we’ll see some reassuring commentaries related to the share price.”

However, Khalaf expects a more positive outcome for shareholders since the insurer has seen success in its Asian business. He says: “Despite the economic turbulence in Asia, Prudential has performed well in its Asian unit and this is a positive outcome for shareholders.”

  • US Federal Reserve – minutes of interest rate decision meeting

AXA Investment Managers chief investment officer for fixed income Chris Iggo says while any increase in interest rates by the Fed is likely to be limited, the consequences of a move might not be.

He says: “First there is the impact on the dollar. If a rate hike comes and the US interest rate curve re-prices as a result, the dollar could begin to strengthen again. This might be good for competitiveness in emerging economies and in Europe, but it will again raise concerns about emerging market dollar denominated debt levels, the sustainability of the recent improvement in commodity and oil prices and the prospects for manufacturing recovery in the US itself.

“Secondly, more generally a rate hike could lead to broad based market volatility and the underperformance of risky assets. To many, the potential for this kind of market response is enough to conclude that the Fed will continue to hold back.”

Iggo believes the Fed will raise rates in June, even if it is ahead of the UK referendum.

  • EU referendum debate – Leader of House of Commons Chris Grayling to join

Grayling joins Vote Leave deputy chairman John Mills, Lords European Union Committee member Lord Jay and City of London policy chairman Mark Boleat at the debate on the EU referendum.

Thursday 19 May

  • AGM: Deutsche Bank, Glencore
  • Royal Mail Group annual results

Friday 20 May

  • OECD – quarterly national accounts; GDP growth (Q1)
  • G7 finance ministers and central bank governors – meeting in Japan

The meeting will see representatives from the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy discussing topics ranging from the global economy to the integrity of financial flows.